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Subject: Mass deacidification test

Mass deacidification test

From: Janet Gertz <gertz>
Date: Thursday, July 29, 1993
Columbia Awarded $10,877 for a test
of the AKZO mass deacidification process

The New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of
Library Research Materials has given Columbia a grant for $10,877 to
conduct a pilot test run of the Akzo Chemicals DEZ mass deacidification
process over the next eight months.

New York University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook
will cooperate with Columbia in the project. Each library will select
approximately 130 volumes to be treated; the materials will be assembled
and shipped to Akzo from Columbia.  Before treatment the libraries will
test the pH of the volumes' paper to determine how acidic the paper is
and will record other facts about their condition.  After treatment the
pH will be re-tested and the completeness of the treatment evaluated.

The volumes will be physically marked in two ways to indicate that they
have been deacidified.  (1) The volume will be marked with the infinity
symbol on the spine.   (2) A small label on acid-free paper will be
attached inside the back cover of each volume.  It will state the vendor
and method of deacidification, as well as the initial pH and the pH
after treatment.

The sample volumes will be chosen from the libraries' general
collections, and will consist of volumes which need commercial
rebinding.  Selecting items ready for rebinding eliminates concern about
any potential damage to the covers and adhesives because they will be
removed during rebinding in any case.  Since Preservation staff in the
three participating libraries regularly identify and review damaged
volumes, there will be relatively little disruption of normal routines.

Another benefit of using volumes scheduled for rebinding is the
knowledge that items have been selected which are used and valued by the
libraries' patrons.  The participants will obviously need to avoid
selecting volumes which are in such heavy demand that they cannot be
absent from the collection for the time needed for treatment plus
rebinding, and they will exclude any volumes with high artifactual
value, but they will be treating items which have a known track record
and are important parts of their collections.

The results of this pilot will be disseminated to the eleven New York
State Comprehensive Research Libraries in time to plan for a potential
full-scale mass deacidification project.  The eleven libraries are:
Columbia, Cornell, New York Public, the New York State Library, New York
University, Syracuse University, the University of Rochester, and the
SUNY campuses of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook.

Groundwork for this project was laid during a seminar on mass
deacidification held in Albany in October 1992. Representatives of
preservation and collection development from all eleven Comprehensive
Research Libraries attended, and heard presentations from Robert
Milevski (Princeton University) on technical issues; James Stroud
(University of Texas) on current test runs of manuscripts and archives;
Richard Frieder (Northwestern University) on the Committee on
Institutional Cooperation (CIC) cooperative project; Eugene Wiemers
(Northwestern) on selection for mass deacidification; and Ross Atkinson
(Cornell University) on how deacidification fits in the larger
preservation and collection development context.  Copies of the
Proceedings of the Seminar are available upon request from Janet Gertz
while supplies last.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:16
                  Distributed: Thursday, July 29, 1993
                        Message Id: cdl-7-16-003
Received on Thursday, 29 July, 1993

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