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Subject: Measuring acidity in paper

Measuring acidity in paper

From: Michael Hodgson <mhodgson<-a>
Date: Monday, November 3, 2014
Mary Miller <memiller<-a t->umn< . >edu> writes

>I received an inquiry from a student in our Art Department.  He is
>working on a project to plant pulp fiction novels under plants. He's
>interested in measuring the levels of acidity of the paper in the
>books, so that he can find plants with similar amounts of acidity in
>their soil (I assume that's part of the art project).  At the risk
>of exposing my scientific naivete, is there feasible way for him to
>measure the pH levels of paper in a book?

The easiest way for him to check the pH would be with non-bleeding
pH indicator strips (get the Universal type as these measure the
full range of pH from 0 to 15).  All that is required is a drop of
deionised/distilled water which is placed on the paper (an eye
dropper is good for this) the indicator strip is then placed face
down on the wet area and a small piece of polyester sheet and a
light weight are placed on top to stop the paper drying out, after a
few minutes the indicator will have changed colour and the pH can be
read off the chart provided with the strips.  Alternatively is there
no one at the chemistry faculty he could contact about having pH
readings made?

Michael Hodgson
Conservator
Glamorgan Archives
Clos Parc Morgannwg
Leckwith
Cardiff CF11 8AW
+44 29 2087 2200


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:23
                Distributed: Thursday, November 6, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-28-23-011
                                  ***
Received on Monday, 3 November, 2014

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