The ABCs of Modern Fire Suppression

22nd Preservation Conference

March 10, 2008

About the Conference

This conference provided an in-depth review of fire detection and suppression systems appropriate for the protection of archives and other cultural property. It examined historic systems and practices, and suggested emerging fire suppression technologies for the safeguarding of cultural heritage collections.

The program reviewed advances in specific fire suppression systems that are applicable to confined spaces (records vaults, high bay storage), vulnerable materials (artifacts), and electronic equipment (data repositories).

List of Conference Presentations


Fire Suppression and Cultural Property by Catherine Nicholson, Supervisory Conservator, Document Conservation Division, National Archives and Records Administration

Fire Protection:  An Historical Overview, Part 1 and Part 2 by J. Andrew Wilson, Associate Director for Fire Protection and Safety, Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC
Fire Detection and Suppression for Cultural Properties by Nick Artim, Director, Fire Safety Network, Middlebury, VT

Risk Assessment for Cultural Institutions:  Fire Testing vs. Computer Modeling by Dr. Frederick W. Mowrer, Associate Professor, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Approaches to Fire Suppression in NARA Facilities:  New Buildings and Renovations by Ron Noll, Chief, Real Property Management Branch, National Archives and Records Administration

Low Oxygen Fire Suppression at the British Library by Julian Taylor, Construction Project Sponsor, British Library, London, England

Update: R&D Project for Fire Protection in High Density Storage Facilities by Roberta Pilette, Head, Preservation Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Why Williamsburg Went Wet Pipe by Patricia Silence, Conservator of Exhibits, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, VA

Fire Suppression in the Capitol Visitors Center Exhibit Gallery by Martha C. Sewell, Exhibition Project Director, The Capitol Visitors Center, Washington, DC

Fire Protection for the Rare Collections Library by Cornelius Rusnov, Project Coordinator, The State Library of Pennsylvania

22nd Preservation Conference poster

22nd Preservation Conference brochure