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Subject: Soot


From: Sonja Schwoll <sophie<-a>
Date: Sunday, October 16, 2005
As part of the conservation treatment of fire damaged library
materials, books were cleaned with brushes, chemical sponges and
erasers. Not all volumes could be disbound and treated aqueously.
After the cleaning process no further surface dirt could be removed
by any of these means without damaging the objects or applying
excessively aggressive surface cleaning procedures. Any dirt
remaining in the paper or cloth seemed to be permanently embedded.

After the books were returned to the owner, more soot was able to be
removed from the surface without endangering the material with only
light application of chemical sponge.

The books had been transported individually wrapped in paper and
housed in a wooden crate. The climate conditions were probably hot
and humid during some parts of the transport to a Southern

It would be very helpful to know whether anyone has encountered a
similar case or can explain this phenomenon of re-surfacing dirt and
soot on fire damaged material. Could environmental conditions have
caused embedded soot to loosen from the paper fibers causing it to
work its way to the surface?

Sonja Schwoll
Assistant Conservator
Rare Books
Etherington Conservation Services
Greensboro, North Carolina

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:21
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 19, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-21-014
Received on Sunday, 16 October, 2005

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