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Subject: University of Utah receives grant for disaster recovery research

University of Utah receives grant for disaster recovery research

From: Randy Silverman <randy.silverman>
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2004
The University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott has received a grant
from the National Park Service and the National Center for
Preservation Technology and Training to conduct research with
domestic and international partners on recovery protocols for
library materials damaged by flooding. The research will focus on
books of historical significance (dating from the 18th through the
20th centuries), clarifying the most effective disaster recovery
procedures when dealing with collections of culturally significant
or irreplaceable books.

The problem of drying water-damaged books is common to libraries
worldwide, with modern book conservation dating its origins to the
events surrounding the Florence Flood of 1966. Yet, despite
literally dozens of large-scale disasters and thousands of small
events that have occurred worldwide since that time, the problem of
defining "best practices" for disaster recovery remains ambiguous.

The National Park Service and the National Center for Preservation
Technology and Training have awarded the University of Utah's
Marriott Library a sum of $39,790 for research related to emergency
washing, drying, and sterilization techniques. Specifically, The
outcomes of this research will allow libraries around the globe to
respond more effectively to water-related problems affecting
irreplaceable collections.

Randy Silverman, Marriott Library Preservation Librarian and
principal investigator on the project explains: "The results of this
enquiry will determine the long-term affects of drying and
sterilization techniques on cellulose. Using real books to better
mirror actual disaster conditions, our goal is to answer the
question, 'What are the most significant factors to isolate when
critically evaluating a flood-damaged library collection before
determining how to best dry it and eradicate mold secondary

International partners include the British Library (London), and the
National Library of the Czech Republic which conducted
groundbreaking research in drying techniques as a result of massive
flooding in Prague and the surrounding region in 2002.

Domestic partners include the conservation center of the National
Park Service at Harpers Ferry (Harpers Ferry, WV), Applied Paper
Technology, Inc. (a commercial paper testing lab, Atlanta, GA),
Preservation Technologies, Inc. (a commercial mass-deacidification
firm, Cranberry Township, PA), Sterigenics, (a commercial
sterilization firm, Corona., CA), Belfor USA (a commercial disaster
recovery firm, Fort Worth, TX), Artifex Equipment, Inc. (developer
of innovative drying technologies, Penngrove, CA), and Sam Weller
Used and Rare Books (provider of test samples, Salt Lake City, UT).

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:24
               Distributed: Wednesday, November 24, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-18-24-008
Received on Wednesday, 17 November, 2004

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