SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE USE OF ENZYMES IN PAPER CONSERVATION
Pia C. DeSantis
CONSERVATORS HAVE LONG VALUED enzymes for their role in facilitating the breakdown of tenacious accretions of old paste and glue. This article presents a study of the use of enzymes in paper conservation. A brief discussion of terms as well as the currently accepted theories of enzymatic reaction pathways will be followed by an outline of earlier enzyme studies published by paper conservators. Facts derived from a review of the enzymology literature will then be presented, since they clarify statements in the conservation literature. The article concludes with the results of a series of experiments run on an enzyme new to the conservation field. The purpose of the author, then, is not only to call attention to the importance of the enzymology literature, but also to highlight a new enzyme which may prove useful to conservators in the future.