The Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project is a collaboration between OCLC, IMLS, and Batelle designed to generate scientific information to support the handling of core museum, library, and archival materials as these institutions begin to resume operations and reopen to the public. They have completed three tests so far, with a fourth having already been announced. Use the links below to review the results.
1) Hardback book cover
2) Softback book cover
3) Plain paper pages inside a closed book
4) Plastic book covering (baxially oriented polyester film)
5) DVD case
Materials were unstacked and laid flat. Results show that SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable after three (3) days of quarantine.
1) Braille paper pages
2) Glossy paper pages
3) Magazine pages
4) Children’s board book
5) Archival folders
Materials were stacked. Results show that after two (2) days of quarantine, the SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable on the folders. After four (4) days of quarantine it was not detectable on the braille pages, glossy book pages, and board book. The magazine showed a trace amount of the virus at four days.
1) Talking book USB cassettes
3) Storage bags
4) Storage containers
Materials were unstacked. Results show that after five days of quarantine the virus was not detectable on the storage bag or the DVD. The storage container, plexiglass, and the USB cassette all showed recoverable virus at five days.
1) Hardback book cover
2) Softcover book cover
3) Plastic protective cover
4) DVD case
5) Expanded polyethylene foam
All materials were stacked, except for the foam, which was in open air. Results show that after six days of quarantine the SARS-CoV-2 virus was still detected on all five materials tested. When compared to Test 1, which resulted in nondetectable virus after three days on an unstacked hardcover book, softcover book, plastic protective cover, and DVD case, the results of Test 4 highlight the effect of stacking and its ability to prolong the survivability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
1) Leather book cover
2) Synthetic leather (upholstery)
3) Polyolefin fabric (upholstery)
4) Cotton fabric (upholstery, toys, costumes)
5) Nylon webbing (crowd control barrier)
All materials were unstacked. Results show that after eight days of quarantine, SARS-CoV-2 virus was still detected on leather and synthetic leather materials. For the polyolefin fabric and nylon webbing, only the amount of virus after the initial 1 hour of drying time could be measured. No data for the cotton fabric could be collected or reported.
1) Marble (flooring & counters)
2) Powder-coated steel (lockers, shelving, book trucks, exhibit elements)
3) Laminate (countertops)
4) Brass (fixtures, railings)
5) Glass (windows, display cases) Results show that after two days, SARS-CoV-2 virus was not detectable on the brass and marble. After six days, virus was not detected on the glass, laminate, and powder-coated steel.
Tests 1 through 6 measured the attenuation time of virulent SARS-CoV-2 virus applied to materials held at ambient room temperature (68 to 75°F, 20 to 24°C) and relative humidity conditions (30 to 50 percent).
For Tests 7 and 8, materials were held at colder (34 to 36°F; 1 to 4°C) and warmer (83 to 84°F; 28 to 29°C) temperatures; relative humidity remained the same as previous tests.
The following items are included in both Tests 7 and 8:
1) Hardback book (buckram cloth, stacked)
2) Softback book cover (stacked)
3) Plastic protective cover (stacked)
4) Expanded polyethylene foam (unstacked) Results show that attenuation rates for materials held at the colder temperature were significantly slower compared to the warmer and ambient temperatures.