Volume 15, Number 3, Sept 1993, pp.32-33

Technical Exchange

Elizabeth C. Welsh, column editor

Supplies for Recovery of Books and Files Damaged by Floods and Water Leaks

ProText, Inc. is run Linda Nainis, a professional librarian with a speciality in preservation. ProText offers a number of interesting items for water-disaster preparedness and response in libraries and similar collections.

RESCUBETM was specially designed by ProText for one-step transport of water-soaked books and papers from the library to freezers, to vacuum freeze-drying, and back again to the library or records center without the need to repack. Made from corrugated high-density polyethylene, the one-piece construction fully encloses the contents with interlocking top flaps; contents can be secured further with self-locking nylon ties threaded through top slots. RESCUBEs can be used repeatedly: they are easy to clean after use and fold flat for storage. Each RESCUBE holds 1 cubic foot of books or files. Packaged in cartons of 20, the cost per RESCUBE is <$6; discounts available with large quantities.

RESCUBE accessories are also sold: nylon ties to secure RESCUBE closure, heavy-duty polyethylene tape of the type used to tape greenhouse film outdoors in climates as cold as Alaska, labeling aids, 5-mil powder-free gloves, book wrap to keep wet books from sticking together, cardboard cartons to encase RESCUBEs for shipping by mail, special labels for shipments that include dry ice.

REACT-PAKTM is described as "a compact disaster-preparedness kit." Each "pack" costs $120 and contains: 4 disposable aprons, 4 pairs disposable vinyl gloves, 2 pairs slip-on boots with skid resistant soles, 2 NIOSH/MSHA approved dust masks, paper towels, sponges, mop, mop bucket, 2 extra-large heavy-duty trash bags, barricade "caution" tape, two 3' x 12' ft. 4-mil polyethylene sheets, two 3' x 18' poly sheets, heavy-duty tape, tape dispenser, waterproof flashlight + alkaline batteries, precut freezer wrap for 1000 books, RESCUBE and ties, clipboard, paper, pencils, 3x5 cards, china marker, directory of refrigerated warehouses, "dos and don'ts guidelines".

For details, contact:

Linda Nainis
ProText, Inc.
3515 Leland Street
Bethesda, Maryland 20815

Magnetic Letters and Numbers for Photography Set-Ups

Magnetic letters and numbers can be used as an easy way to identify objects in photographs. They are available in a variety of sizes and colors from Magnet Sales and Mfg. Co., 11248 Playa Court, Culver City, California 90230; telephone 800/421-6692, fax 310/390-4357. They also make magnetic sheets and strips, available with adhesive backings.

Catherine Sease
Head, Division of Conservation
Field Museum of Natural History

Velcro Alert?

A local folk art gallery (Pilgrim Roy) has become convinced that Velcro is bad news when used as a hanging device for textiles.

They sent quilts to Japan for an exhibition, at which time Velcro was stitched on (across the top, and tabs at the bottom; muslin as an interlayer behind the Velcro across the top but not beneath the tabs). After the quilts returned to the U.S., they were rolled and stored. Mr. Pilgrim assured us that the quilts had not been subjected to light or any harmful air pollutants, including fumigation treatments, during the time they had been stored away. Upon later inspection, they discovered the quilts had not only become discolored behind the muslin and Velcro, but were "rotten" as well.

After telephoning the manufacturer, the gallery was told that Velcro should "never be used" in this situation and that it "off gassed." We asked if it was possible to see the quilts, or at least photographs of the damage and/or samples of the Velcro, but were told that it was not possible at this time. Meanwhile, Pilgrim Roy is spreading the word, and the quilt world is a-buzz with the rumor, that Velcro is not stable and should not be used on textiles.

Has anyone had any similar experience, or heard anything pertaining to this situation, or have an opinion on what could have happened?

Sarah Gates, deYoung Memorial Museum Textile Lab, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118, Tel. 415/750-7611

Wooden Tools May Introduce Mold Into Acrylic Emulsions

After experiencing mold growth on Lascaux Restauro 498 HV acrylic emulsion, I learned from Douglas Adams of Conservation Materials, Ltd., that mold will grow on the plasticizers of both the 498 HV and the 360 HV emulsions. The source of the contamination seems to be the use of any wooden implement, including a wooden-handled brush, to remove emulsion from the larger container. Fortunately, only one liter of material was ruined in my case--not a five- liter tub! To avoid this problem, only clean, stainless steel implements should be used to remove the emulsion from the supply container.

Carrie Ann Calay, Conservation & Preservation Services, 530 Hampshire Street-Unit 300, San Francisco, California 94110; Tel. 415/552-7889

Light Box With Uniform Illumination

The Ultra-Lum WL236 White Light Illuminator has a 39 cm x 43 cm illuminated glass work surface. A specially designed diffusor on the bottom and sides, combined with two side-monted light sources, eliminates heat and hot spots from the working surface.

The versatile carrying handle allows the light box to be used flat or tilted in four positions, up to 45 degrees. The unit can also be hung vertically on a wall using an optional wall bracket.

Cost: approx. $500. The system is manufactured in the U.S.A. For further information, please contact Ultra-Lum, Inc., 217 East Star of India Lane, Carson, California 90746-1417; Tel. 310/324- 2247.

Ultra-Lum, Inc. publicity

Cooperation Opportunities

Sarah Melching is compiling a chapter of the Paper Conservation Catalog, "Written Documentation." Information about your style and method of documentation would be tremendously helpful. Sarah Melching, 215 Second Avenue South-No. 408, Seattle, Washington 98104; Tel. 206/343-9789.

Jamie Hascall is writing a mount-making manual, and he would appreciate input from WAAC members on this subject. Jamie Hascall, 2335 N. 61st, Seattle, Washington 98103.

Conservation OnLine is anxiously seeking contributions of machine readable text. While any materials of use to conservation professionals are very welcome, we are especially interested in gathering a large group of disaster planning and response documents (emergency response manuals, formal disaster plans, supply lists, lists of contacts, etc.). Sharing your documents could save people a lot of wheel-reinvention. Please send floppy disks to the address below, and indicate the machine, format, and the name of the program needed to read them; e.g., "Macintosh HD Microsoft Word."

Walter Henry Conservation Lab Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA 94305-6004.

Conservation Lining Table Available for Purchase

For sale: 11-1/2 ft. x 8 ft. Peter Koch hot table, internal heating and vacuum system, may need adjustments. Price: available for best offer, must arrange own delivery. For further information, contact:

Dr. Pieter Meyers
Conservation Center
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, California 90036

Noteworthy Catalogs

Conservation Materials, Ltd.

Conservation Materials Ltd. has a new street address: 1275 Kleppe Lane #10, Sparks, Nevada 89431. Their post office box remains the same (P.O. Box 2884, Sparks, Nevada 89431), as do the phone and fax numbers (702/331-0582 for voice and 702/331-0588 for fax).

Douglas and Dorothy Adams, and their staff at CM staff, have provided service to the conservation community of the West since 1978. Their catalog is not flashy, but it is full of things we want, use, and need--in fact, many items CM carries were requested by us.

The CM Times is an informal newsletter produced at Conservation Materials Ltd. containing information about new catalog items, reports from guest authors about recommended use of materials, new CM services, etc. They'll send you "CM Times" on request (issue No. 10 was published in early 1993).

University Products, Inc.

Four free catalogs are available:

Archival Quality Materials
Archival Photographic Materials (this is simply a section of
Archival Quality Materials, published separately)
Library and Media Center Supplies
Archival Quality Materials for Natural History Collections.

New products noted in a supplement to the natural history catalog include acid-free micromounts, polyethylene closed-cell foam rod (3/4 inch and 1-1/4 inch in diameter), cordless hot-melt glue gun, books, Olfa utility knives, vacuum pick-up system, special packing supplies, and many other items.

University Products, Inc.,
517 Main St.,
P.O. Box 101,
Holyoke, MA 01041-0101
University Products, Inc. Customer Service: 800/762-1165 or

Gaylord Brothers

Their 1993/94 catalog is titled:

Archival Storage Materials & Conservation Supplies with sections on:

Books, Paper & Textile Storage
Albums, Prints & Negative Storage
Matting & Framing
Slide & Microform Storage
Conservation Supplies and Equipment
Audio/Visual Storage

Special Services from Gaylord:

"Help Line Conservator" Nancy Carlson Schrock, available 9 am to 5 pm EST, Thursday and Friday only, 800/428-3631.

Collections Conservation Award, $1000, plus expenses paid to accept the award at the 1984 AIC Meeting in Nashville. Will be awarded to an individual engaged full-time in the conservation of library or archive collections to support his/her professional development. Call Customer Service at 800/634-6307 for information and application.

Pathfinder Pamphlet #1: An Introduction to Preservation. A short bibliography for environmental control, disaster preparedness, photographic preservation, collection conservation of paper and books, commercial library binding, and preservation in public libraries. Free of charge.

Pathfinder Pamphlet #2: Archival Storage of Paper. Provides information necessary to select the most appropriate storage systems for flat paper. Information includes the selection of storage materials, preparing collections for storage, and case studies of different types of flat paper artifacts. Free of charge.

Gaylord Brothers, Box 4901, Syracuse, NY 13221-4901
Gaylord Brothers Customer Service: 800/634-6307

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