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Subject: Mothballs


From: Mary Baughman <m.c.boffman>
Date: Monday, October 9, 1995
Janet Kay Zastrow <zastrow [at] hawaii__edu> writes

>Does anyone use mothballs as an insect deterrent in an
>archives/special collection setting? A colleague suggested them for
>"fumigating" new arrivals not yet accessioned into the collection,
>and as an all-purpose bug deterrent in *all* unprocessed boxes.

I think it would be a bad idea to use moth balls as a deterrent in
your archives. We received a shipment of vintage comic books packed
in a foot locker and liberally sprinkled with moth balls. It took
several days of airing out in a fume hood to decrease the smell
before we felt comfortable enough to allow patrons of the library to
use the materials. They still smell.

We inspect all materials for signs of insects before we allow them
into the collection storage areas. Any materials which look
suspicious are bagged and left "in quarantine" with a Mr. Sticky
Trap in the bag. After two or three weeks the bag is opened and the
trap inspected.

Materials which arrive with insects are frozen (if that treatment is
appropriate for the materials). If you wish to have more information
about this procedure I will be happy to send you a letter describing
the process.

Mary Baughman
Book Conservator
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
University of Texas at Austin

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:33
                 Distributed: Tuesday, October 10, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-33-006
Received on Monday, 9 October, 1995

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