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Subject: AKZO cancellation of DEZ deacidification services

AKZO cancellation of DEZ deacidification services

From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Thursday, December 16, 1993
The following announcement was issued by the Association of Research
Libraries (ARL) on December 16, 1993:

    This is to alert you that Akzo Chemicals, Inc. has decided to shut
    down its pilot Book Preservation Facility in Texas effective in the
    first quarter of 1994.  This decision was taken against the backdrop
    of ongoing testing as well as active marketing of services. Akzo
    Chemicals holds the exclusive license to use the Library of Congress
    developed diethyl zinc (DEZ) deacidification process.  This
    development will drastically alter the mass deacidification market
    and poses the danger that research libraries will no longer have
    access to a cost-effective corrective technique to deacidify library
    materials while they are still sound and not yet brittle.

    The closing of the plant signals Akzo's assessment "of limited
    prospects for the adoption of DEZ in the near future."  In a letter
    to ARL, Akzo reports this action is "despite our firm belief that it
    represents the best available technology to address a need that is
    real and truly worldwide."

    In the last year about a dozen ARL libraries have sent shipments of
    materials to be treated: Harvard and Johns Hopkins have actually
    integrated use of Akzo's deacidification services into the
    libraries' preservation program. For the past year the Library of
    Congress contracted with Akzo for a research and development effort
    to perfect the DEZ deacidification process with a special emphasis
    on elimination of odor.

    On December 13, 1993, Akzo notified the Library of Congress of the
    decision to discontinue deacidification services.  ARL has asked LC
    to clarify the impact of this action on LC preservation programs and
    on the availability of the technology for use by other libraries. We
    will keep you informed.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:45
                Distributed: Thursday, December 16, 1993
                        Message Id: cdl-7-45-001
Received on Thursday, 16 December, 1993

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