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Subject: Cellulose acetate enclosures

Cellulose acetate enclosures

From: Harold Holland <holland>
Date: Monday, October 17, 1994
The following is posted on behalf of Nathalie Silvie

    Extracts of manuscripts discovered in 1907 in Touen-Houang (Chinese
    Turkestan) were encapsulated in the 1950's between sheets of
    cellulose acetate (perhaps activated with ethanol).  The manuscripts
    are made from mulberry and hemp with writing on both sides.  The
    dates of the documents range from 500 to 1300.

    For several years, sheets of cellulose acetate have been showing
    signs of alteration with crinkling and greasy oozings (inside and
    outside of the enclosures) with an odour of acetic acid present.

    Results of analysis of samples of the extracts indicate strong
    concentrations of acetate and sulfate ions and more rarely chlorine

    Suggestions are requested for removing the salts (most of the
    extracts are considered too brittle for washing) and for protective
    supports or enclosures.

    Please send any suggestions on any aspect of this project to

    Nathalie Silvie c/o Holland [at] UNB__ca

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:28
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 19, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-28-008
Received on Monday, 17 October, 1994

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