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Subject: Vacuum drying books

Vacuum drying books

From: Michael Rhode <rhode>
Date: Tuesday, September 13, 1994
Over the weekend, a staff member had a basement flood from a washing
machine water hose.  Some of his books got wet and he is willing to
experiment with drying them.  This gets interesting in that we have a
hypobaric (or low altitude chamber) here at work that we can use to
attempt to vacuum-dry them.  I found the technique mentioned in "An
Ounce of Prevention" by Barton & Wellheiser.

None of the museum staff has any conservation experience (although we
are currently advertising for one!) and the hypobaric chamber staff
works on high altitude physiology.  Therefore we're coming at this
problem cold.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Should we take the
books (which were wrapped wet and refrigerated) and just put them in the
chamber?  Should we freeze them first? How much should we worry about
coated stock?  Are we missing something very basic?  Thanks for any
advice!  And thanks to Kathy at NEDCC for her recommendations and
suggesting this posting.

Michael Rhode, Chief Archivist
National Museum of Health & Medicine
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Washington, DC 20306-6000
Fax: 202-576-3573

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:19
               Distributed: Wednesday, September 14, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-19-017
Received on Tuesday, 13 September, 1994

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