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Subject: Rust


From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2001
Jo Anne Martinez <carino [at] nmfiber__com> writes

>I am working with a small manuscripts collection of dance
>ethnomusicology called the Cross-Cultural Dance Resources in
>Flagstaff, Arizona.  The holdings are quite vast in terms of the
>variety of materials and the resources quite limited.  Presently,
>there is an anthropology student <acs22 [at] dana__ucc__nau__edu> who is
>interested in working with 9 iron metalophones and idiophones that
>are held in the collection. They are from West Africa of unknown date
>of origin.  They were collected in the 1960's.  Most are in stable
>physical condition although two exhibit cracks and losses.  The
>student would like to clean the rust off the instruments and would
>like advice on how to do this and how to best preserve them once
>they are clean.

I would be careful with these objects.  We tested a similar object
in the Treganza Museum at San Francisco State University and found
it heavily contaminated with pesticide (mercury).  You might want to
contact Dr. Nancy Odegaard at the Arizona State Museum.

A volume of Collection Forum containing talks from a conference at
San Francisco State University which I organized has just been
published.  It has a number of articles on the history of pesticide
use in the USA, testing issues and health hazards of pesticides on
artifacts as well on how this danger affects museum workers and
Native Peoples receiving ceremonial objects from NAGPRA. Copies are
available from Collection Forum by writing

    Janet Waddington
    Dept. of Palaeobiology
    Royal Ontario Museum
    100 Queen's Park
    Toronto Ontario M5S 2C6, Canada

The SFSU web page <URL:>
contains some related information and a bibliography. Collection
Forum will be putting out future articles on this issue.

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:34
                 Distributed: Monday, October 22, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-34-004
Received on Saturday, 20 October, 2001

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