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Subject: Water pipes in archival storage

Water pipes in archival storage

From: Jerry Shiner <jshiner>
Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Liz Bowerman discussed using vacuum encapsulation of books and
documents as a method of protecting them from accidental water
damage. She also mentioned some other advantages (compaction,
security, and protection from damage from external pollutants), as
well as touching on the dangers (trapped off-gassing from the
documents). Another problem can be off-setting of some printing when
photocopied documents are stored under high vacuum.

A simple sealed plastic bag will offer some of the advantages
without using a vacuum sealing machine (exactly the same unit as is
used by your butcher), or multi-layer plastic bags. However, you may
substantially increase the effectiveness of the system by using a
good quality barrier film bag (eg Escal) and adding an oxygen
absorber (eg Ageless) or a combination oxygen and gas scavenger (eg
RP system). Using a vacuum sealer will speed up the process and
compact the sealed books. Note that these units can be adjusted for
very low vacuum, which will still provide noticeable space savings
with very little risk of print off-setting.

Should you decide to purchase a vacuum sealer, it can be very useful
as part of a system to dry books resulting from a disaster.

I explored this packaging system about fifteen years ago, with
dreams of establishing a North American offering similar to the
Archipress System from Holland. I abandoned the effort when I
determined that my business model was flawed, not due to problems
with the system. More information on the barrier films and
scavengers can be found at: <URL:>

Jerry Shiner
Microclimate Technologies International / Keepsafe Systems
800-683-4696 ext 701

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:45
                 Distributed: Saturday, March 18, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-45-006
Received on Tuesday, 14 March, 2006

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