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Subject: Mold on books

Mold on books

From: Erica Kotze <e.kotze>
Date: Monday, May 7, 2007
I am seeking advice from paper or book conservators who have
experience with treating objects affected with dry rot.

The studio has received an object from a private client which has
been affected by dry rot.  The item is a perfect binding of heavy
weight, fairly acidic and poor quality paper, and is currently
separate from its cover which is similar to the cover of case

The pages and the cover are all affected by a lateral, fan like
growth which has visually been identified as dry rot.  The house
from which the item comes has had a history of dry rot and it is
possible that the book was at some point in direct contact with the
affected part of the house.

I have been unable to find relevant conservation literature about
dry rot and paper based items, but from what I have read on previous
DistList posts I understand that dry rot will degrade the cellulose
and the lignin in the paper. In this case, the decay is not very
advanced and so the structural integrity of the paper has not been

The fan like growth of the dry rot sits on the surface of the paper
and can be removed fairly easily with light mechanical action.

My concern, however, is about the health and safety implications for
the client after possible treatment, as I understand that in the
right conditions re-growth may be triggered.

I would be grateful to learn about other conservators' experience of
dealing with dry rot and the treatments and storage found to be most

Erica Kotze
Book and Paper Conservation Studio
University of Dundee
Dundee DD1 4HN
+44 1382 344094
Fax: +44 1382 345614

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:4
                   Distributed: Friday, May 11, 2007
                        Message Id: cdl-21-4-028
Received on Monday, 7 May, 2007

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