What, exactly, is preservation? ◦ Done on site by archivist or records handler ◦ Inexpensive What, then, is conservation? ◦ Done off site in a lab by someone with chemical background or knowledge ◦ Expensive
To make records useable To lengthen the life of the document To maintain your legacy Digitization is not preservation!!!!!
Changes in Manufacturing ◦ Processes resulting in Acidic Shorter fibers Weaker paper Durable Paper ◦ Developed during the 1980s ◦ 2% minimum alkaline reserve ◦ less than 1% lignin, ◦ good tear resistance ◦ pH of 7.5 to 10.0
Ink ◦ 2500 BC in Egypt and China Pencil ◦ Developed and patented in France in 1795 Deterioration of Ink ◦ Iron gall ink 12th century well into the 20th century Highly acidic Corrosive that eats through paper
Pollutants ◦ Gases ◦ Particulates Dust! Climate ◦ Temperature Cool and stable ◦ Relative Humidity Dry and stable
Papers like the dark! ◦ Effects of light are cumulative and irreversible Sources of Light ◦ Natural light ◦ Artificial light ◦ Incandescent bulbs High IR (infrared), low UV (ultraviolet) Discharge bulbs High UV ◦ Fiber optic Low IR, low UV
What is Mold? And Where Does It Come From? ◦ Type of fungus ◦ Always present in the air and on objects Optimum conditions development ◦ Commonly Temperature is above 70° Fahrenheit Relative humidity is above 70% ◦ Uncommonly but still possible 50° Fahrenheit and in 45% relative humidity
Paper ◦ mold and mildew eat library materials People ◦ Exacerbates allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems ◦ Some fungi can cause skin and eye irritation and infections ◦ Prolonged exposure to germinating molds in closed areas can damage the lungs, mucous membrane, cornea, respiratory tract, stomach, intestines, and skin
The ONLY way to permanently protect your collections from mold is to control the environment by keeping the temperature within 65º-70º Fahrenheit and the relative humidity within 45%-65% Consistency of temperature and relative humidity, even if outside ideal range, is better than fluctuations in the environment
Temperature ◦ 65-70 degrees F +/- 5 degrees Relative humidity ◦ 45%-65% +/- 2% Light ◦ Let the sun shine in! Air circulation ◦ HVAC
Don't shelve books directly against an outside wall No plants indoors or near walls Waterproof basements and walls below ground level Check gutters and drains regularly Regularly inspect your collection for mold or mildew Install the best filters, preferably HEPA filters
Determine whether the mold is active or inactive ◦ Active mold can be colorful, damp, slimy, and web-like and has a musty odor ◦ Inactive, or dormant mold is dry and powdery Isolate affected materials Determine the source of the outbreak Control the environment ◦ Psychrometer ◦ Hygrothermograph Clean the collection
Mold does not die! Fungistatic versus fungicidal treatments Freezing or air-drying followed by cleaning Any type of treatment must include some temporary modification of the environment Inactivate the mold so it can be easily cleaned from the item
Freezing ◦ Fungistatic ◦ Stopgap Air Drying ◦ Inactivate the mold ◦ Vented or isolated, to prevent the spreading of spores
Vacuuming most effective way to remove mold spores from books and paper ◦ doesn't spread the spores ◦ HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter ◦ Ordinary vacuums should be used outdoors ONLY ◦ Vacuum mold from flat paper documents through a screen to avoid damage
Clean mold with a soft bristled brush or clean rag ◦ Can cause increased staining Wipe off books or papers outdoors or under a fume hood Replace rags frequently ◦ Store used rags in sealed plastic bags ◦ Wash in bleach for re-use For fragile and rare materials, or if you're unsure about how to treat an item, don't hesitate to consult a conservator
Foxing (small brown spots probably caused by mold or by the presence of tiny metal particles) Tears, folds, and creases; dog-eared corners; abrasions; Staining from rusted paper clips, deteriorated rubber bands, or tape Loss of parts of the paper
Distortion and staining from previous water damage. Brittleness and fragility due to acidic deterioration and light exposure; Discoloration or darkening due to acidity and light exposure; Staining and weakening from mold growth Holes from insect infestation Acid migration
The hard decisions ◦ You cannot save everything Even with cooperative projects ◦ Priorities must be set among collections You must define your collection's strengths and concentrate on them ◦ Every item may not need to be preserved Will a representative sample of certain materials be acceptable?
What groups of items are most deteriorated? Which have most importance to your institutional mission? What is the current and projected use for these materials? What collections should be your highest priority for preservation within each category, and why?
Do I have a valid reason for picking this up? What is its condition? What is the safest way to hold it? Is it too fragile to lift without a secondary support? Do I need a second person to assist? Do I need a cart or trolley? After I have lifted the object, where will I set it down again? Are my hands clean? Should I wear gloves?