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Conserving an historic heritage

Project type: 
Historic Library, Oxford
Film type: 
Specialist Window Film - Internal
Window film Historic Library, Oxford

This library in oxford is one of the foremost international libraries of advanced study and research in the world. Included in the six million items housed in the library are many precious books, papers, manuscripts and maps, all of which have to be protected against damage and decay preserved for the benefit of mankind.

A problem for the library is the risk to ancient manuscripts of fading through contact with UV solar radiation. Blinds could be kept permanently closed on all windows to act as a barrier to sunlight, but this would spoil the ambience and make it necessary to use artificial light at all times a far simpler solution was found that proved to be more efficient and cost-effective.

A number of windows were treated with a clear window film developed specially for stopping UV light from the sun penetrating glass. The Clear UV film was installed on the inside face of the individual panes of glass that make up the leaded light windows. As a result, the major cause of fading of manuscripts, inks and dyes has been significantly reduced.

Opalux Clear UV is a technically advanced transparent film developed specially for buildings needing a high level of protection from UV radiation. It is saturated with three levels of inhibitor that effectively absorb up to 99.5% of UV transmissions in the 300-380 nm range. Because the film is clear, it is ideal for use on listed and historic buildings as it does not alter the windows’ existing appearance. In addition to protecting valuable items from fading, the films also safeguards them from damage from falling glass if a window is broken.