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Subject: Mold on Torah scroll

Mold on Torah scroll

From: Jack C. Thompson <tcl>
Date: Monday, March 22, 2004
Benjamin Cohen <bcohen [at] torahscribe__com> writes

>I have been called on to fix a Torah scroll that has been subjected
>to water from a leak in a roof. The scroll is parchment on wooden
>rollers, written in iron gall ink. I have yet to see the scroll. It
>is said to have molded.
>I have instructed the owners to move the scroll to an artificially
>dry closet to dry out the scroll, lots of desiccant and a mechanical
>dehumidifier at 40F.

Your initial advice was good.  Without seeing the Sefer Torah it is
not possible to advise what should be done, but there are some basic

If the yeriahs (sheets of parchment) are indeed molded, it would be
well to give them a light spray of ethyl alcohol to sterilize the
mold, and then gently brush them free of any dead mold spores.  In
the open air, with a gentle breeze blowing away from the direction
of brushing.

Then, depending on the extent of infection, it may be well to
separate the roll from the atzei hayim (wooden rollers) and give the
wood a rub over with alcohol-soaked rags to sterilize them, and then
use fresh gidden (sinew) to re-attach the ends of the scroll.

It is important to understand that once mold has infected an area,
although that area has been sterilized, that that area will be more
likely to become infected again.

Good luck with this project,

Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon  97217
503-735-3942  (phone/fax)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:61
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 24, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-61-005
Received on Monday, 22 March, 2004

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