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Subject: Marking


From: Nicole Gilroy <nicole.gilroy>
Date: Friday, April 2, 2004
Many hundreds of items in our collection of printed ephemera are
stuck down onto dark coloured backing sheets, typically dark green
or black. The curator wishes to write the shelfmarks on the backing
sheets, as is the practice with the rest of this collection.
Resources mean that this work is being done by volunteers, and the
limited time available as well as space and so on mean that adhering
labels or any other such method is not practical.

I contacted the Derwent pencil museum in Cumberland
<URL:>, and was assured that the pigments
used in all of their pencils were free of acidic dyes, and historic
examples of their pencils used to highlight photographs suggested
that the pigments are safe over at least fifty years, though they
recommended avoiding violet colours as fading of this colour was
likely. I was sent samples of their soft Watercolour pencil, which
is difficult to sharpen to a lasting point for writing, and the
Signature pencil, which was less likely to offset when rubbed
against neighbouring sheets, but which had to be pressed quite hard
to give a good line. The Studio pencil, which I have just
discovered, is intended to hold its point for longer, and to give
good fine lines: this pencil seems the best so far. All of the
pencils I tested are in colour 72 Chinese White.

Does anyone have any comments, concerns or ideas? There has been
previous correspondence on this subject (September, 1994) but the
suggestions were for inks or labels, neither of which are

Nicole Gilroy
Bodleian Library Preservation and Conservation Department
Oxford, England

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:65
                  Distributed: Thursday, April 8, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-65-019
Received on Friday, 2 April, 2004

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