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Subject: Sphagnum moss

Sphagnum moss

From: Sandrine Decoux <sandrine.decoux<-a>
Date: Friday, March 28, 2008
Jamye Jamison <jamyejamison [at] yahoo__com  writes

>Does anyone have information on the use of sphagnum moss on
>paper/books as a treatment for mold and/or mildew? We have searched
>the Cons DistList and found nothing. A google search found that it
>is used extensively in horticulture in a grass like form. ...

A quick Google came up with the following extract from the
Conservation Manual for Northern Archaeologists (Prince of Wales
Northern Heritage Centre, Revised 3rd Edition 2007):

   "At low temperatures, this moss is effective in inhibiting
    biological growth (e.g. mould) over the short-term. [...] There
    is evidence that sphagnum moss creates an acidic environment and
    contains bacteria and fungi that would be harmful to wood over
    the long term. Its advantages of natural availability on
    northern sites and cushioning properties outweigh the
    disadvantages in the short term. Artifacts made from iron should
    never be packed in sphagnum moss."

The manual is available online at


    **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
    email. There should be no newline.

I've never heard of sphagnum moss being used for paper conservation,

Sandrine Decoux
Conservation and Collection Care Service
Oxford University Library Services
New Bodleian Library

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:51
                 Distributed: Saturday, March 29, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-51-002
Received on Friday, 28 March, 2008

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