Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Mass Deacidification reports available

Mass Deacidification reports available

From: Kenneth E. Harris <khar>
Date: Friday, January 20, 1995
Mass Deacidification Reports issued by the Library of Congress
in December 1994

Over the past two years, the Library of Congress continued its
commitment to enhance and encourage the development of mass
deacidification technologies through a two-part Action Plan that was
approved by Congress.  Under Phase A of the plan, the Library pursued
refinement of the diethyl zinc (DEZ) process.  Phase B permitted the
Library to offer a program of evaluation and testing to other promising
deacidification technologies; under this provision, Preservation
Technologies, Inc. (PTI) of Pittsburgh asked the Library to evaluate its
Bookkeeper deacidification process.

The first 30+ pages (the textual pages) of separate reports on these two
processes are available on Internet.  Free paperbound copies of the
Bookkeeper and DEZ reports (including all of the appendices not
reproduced on Internet) can be obtained from Kenneth Harris in the
Preservation Directorate at the address given below.  As indicated, the
textual pages of these reports are available on Internet through LC's
Gopher.  You can access them by telnetting to "" and
logging in as "Marvel."  To locate the 2 reports on Marvel, you should
select "Libraries and Publishers (Technical Services)," "Preservation at
the Library of Congress," then "Mass Deacidification: Reports."

With the DEZ process, the Library conducted a series of planned test
runs in the Akzo Chemicals deacidification plant in Texas and succeeded
in eliminating process-related problems that were experienced earlier
with the DEZ technology.  However, we note with disappointment that Akzo
Chemicals withdrew from the deacidification business this past spring
and terminated its DEZ license with the U.S. Commerce Department
effective in September 1994.  The Library has not requested
Congressional support at this time for a DEZ initiative because of
projected high DEZ capitalization costs and because of encouraging
developments with the Bookkeeper process, which affords lower
capitalization costs along with other attractive features.

Under the second phase of the Library's Action Plan, as indicated above,
a Library-appointed evaluation team studied the Bookkeeper
deacidification process.  An earlier generation of PTI equipment, known
as "Bookkeeper II," was being used by PTI when the Library's evaluation
team initiated its examination of the Bookkeeper process over a year
ago.  Based upon results obtained with that earlier Bookkeeper
equipment, the evaluation team concluded that the Bookkeeper process
demonstrates the potential for meeting the Library's technical
requirements for mass deacidification.  The group indicated further that
the process already meets many of the Library's specifications.  The
technical team also recommended that the Library work with PTI to
enhance the Bookkeeper process.

While the evaluation team was drafting its observations about the
results achieved by Bookkeeper processing and about subsequent
accelerated aging and independent lab testing of materials treated with
Bookkeeper II equipment, PTI and the Library pursued two important,
complementary activities:

    *   PTI  engineered and installed its new "Bookkeeper  III"
        equipment, with a current capacity for treating  up  to 100,000
        books per year and capable of being cloned  to handle a greater
        volume; and

    *   The  Library initiated a limited contract to treat  600
        additional test books to assist PTI in addressing  some of  the
        issues  that  were  being  identified  by  the evaluation team.

In light of treatment results obtained with the Bookkeeper process, the
Library presented Congress in December 1994 with a second
deacidification Action Plan, consisting of two phases that will run
concurrently for two years (1995-97), if the plan receives Congressional

Phase  A:

    A brief process enhancement initiative with the Bookkeeper process
    to be followed by a limited production effort. Over a two year
    period, this demonstration contract would result in treating 72,000
    books. The focus will be on achieving an improved product at lower
    cost. Since the Bookkeeper process does not impart odors or cause
    physical damages to treated materials, we expect to make rapid
    progress with process enhancement. We anticipate that most of this
    effort will be devoted to the limited production initiative,
    resulting in deacidification of actual books from the Library's
    permanent collections.

Phase  B:

    The goal of this phase of the Action Plan, with guidelines to be
    announced in the Commerce Business Daily, is to encourage and
    evaluate other technologies that can demonstrate a potential to meet
    or exceed the Library's deacidification requirements (complete
    deacidification, adequate alkaline reserve, an increase in the life
    of paper by at least three times its normal expectancy) without
    damage to collections. The Library is also hopeful that, during this
    phase, a U.S.-based company will recognize the potential for
    commercialization of the DEZ technology and develop a facility for
    deacidifying books through this process.

The Library's proposed two year plan reflects our determination to
support the active development of mass deacidification technologies.  We
remain hopeful that our dedication to this effort, combined with mutual
involvement by other like-minded institutions, will result in fulfilling
the continuing interest of the library and archival communities in
resolving one of our most pressing preservation challenges.

Please feel free to contact one of the persons listed below if you
desire further information or if you would like to discuss the enclosed
reports or the Library's proposed deacidification Action Plan.

Kenneth E. Harris
Preservation Projects Director
Preservation Directorate
Library of Congress, LM-G21
Washington, D.C. 20540-4500
Fax: 202-707-3434
khar [at] loc__gov

Chandru J. Shahani
Preservation Research Officer
Preservation Research and Testing Office
Library of Congress, LM-G38
Washington, D.C. 20540-4560
Fax: 202-707-1525
csha [at] loc__gov

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:58
                Distributed: Thursday, January 26, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-58-001
Received on Friday, 20 January, 1995

[Search all CoOL documents]