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Subject: Recrystallizing naphthalene on natural history specimens

Recrystallizing naphthalene on natural history specimens

From: Erin Chapman <erchapman75>
Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I am a Masters student at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
My minor thesis topic is the preparation, storage, and care of the
Queensland Museum's Bat Collection. The bats in the Queensland
Museum collection were collected to be used for research purposes,
and as such, are not used for display within the museum. A large
number of the bats exhibit a white crystalline powder on the outer
surface of their skin, particularly around the legs and wings. The
substance does not seem to be deleterious to the specimens.
Preliminary examination and research into this problem indicates
that the substance is more likely to be a re-crystallisation of
naphthalene.

I am looking for any information other conservators may have
regarding this problem. Has anyone seen this type of accretion
before? Has anyone treated this type of problem in the past? Has
anyone noted a similar problem with the use of naphthalene in
natural history collection storage?

Erin Chapman


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:30
                 Distributed: Friday, December 1, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-20-30-019
                                  ***
Received on Tuesday, 28 November, 2006

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