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Subject: Thawing frozen books

Thawing frozen books

From: Jeanne Eichelberger <jeichelb>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 1995
I wouldn't microwave frozen books if I were you.  If there is any metal
in them (e.g., staples or foil tattle-tapes) that could cause an ugly
scene with your m-wave.  Besides, I understand sometimes bindings and
glues react badly to being m-waved.  Of course, the bindings and glues
will probably already have reacted badly to being soaked with melted
snow, so that point may be irrelevant.

In my own experience, some books we stuck in the freezer and forgot
about for quite a long time wound up being slowly dried out in the
freezer (sort of like frozen food if you leave it too long!), and by the
time we remembered about them and took them out and thawed them, they
were in pretty good shape and almost dry. You may not want to leave the
books long enough for that, though. Probably if you just take them out,
let them thaw and then let them air-dry as you would any wet books (see
Peter Waters' book on salvaging water-damaged materials) they'll be
usable and basically OK, although the paper will remain somewhat ripply
from being wet, and you'll probably have to rebind them.  If the paper
is glossy-coated, of course, the pages may well be permanently stuck
together, and the books won't be salvageable.  Good luck!

Jeanne Eichelberger

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:59
                 Distributed: Sunday, January 29, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-59-007
Received on Thursday, 26 January, 1995

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