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Subject: Freezing wood and parchment

Freezing wood and parchment

From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Wednesday, October 2, 1996
We have a largish choir book (late c18), manuscript on parchment
bound in wood boards and discovered signs of recent insect activity.
We have a blast freezer and for many materials would deal with this
by rapid freezing to about -50 deg F, but faced with this object, my
confidence flags and would be most grateful for advice, anecdotal
experience, cautions, exclamations of horror or delight, or failing
that, pointers to literature. I am particularly ignorant of the wood
literature, so any help in that area will be especially appreciated.
(See also the Zu-Chun Liao's query in this instance of the
DistList).

I've taken a quick spin through AATA and while there are a number if
articles dealing with freeze-drying (and related techniques), there
is precious little about freezing per se, and some of it I can't lay
my hands on. One that looks particularly interesting--and I'll try
to obtain a copy--is:

    Florian, Mary-Lou. The freezing process effects on insects and
    artifacts materials. Leather Conservation News. v.3 n.1, 1986,
    pp1-13.

I spoke with Abigail Quandt, who was very helpful and pointed me
toward a recent article by Gerhard Banik, but didn't have a citation
(she thought it might have been in Restaurator, and I'll check that
tomorrow). The Parchment Treatments section of the Paper
Conservation Catalog (American Institute for Conservation of
Historic and Artistic Works, Book and Paper Group, Ninth Edition,
May 1994), which was compiled by Quandt and W. Newman), is a
wonderful resource, but I couldn't find anything directly about
freezing.

Naturally, we are also considering anoxia but, all things being
equal would prefer to freeze, as we're already set up to do it and
would like to get this taken care of quickly.

Walter Henry
Stanford University Libraries
+1 415 725 1140

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:33
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 2, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-33-004
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 2 October, 1996

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