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At 12:33 PM 3/23/97 -0500, Professor Belanger you wrote:
>  There's an old story..."don't use formic acid: it eats hell out of lead."

It's a useful story, but its chemistry and its reference to farmers would be
more accurate if you changed it back to the original in which "muriatic acid
eats the hell out of (iron) pipes."

>Most experienced book conservators agree that removing PVA is
>difficult and--if used in direct contact with paper or indeed
>most of the other components of old books--almost impossible
>without doing significant damage to the original materials.
>Its use in direct contact with those original materials,
>especially where paste will do, is thus counter-indicated!

I am willing to accept that PVA is difficult to remove from paper. So is
ink. By the logic you have stated, one ought not to use ink in books,
especially where toner or lead pencil will do.

Please help me understand. Because book conservators need to rebind some old
books, you believe that no bookbinder should use PVA (or EVA); there should
be no adhesive-bound books? Or are you arguing that PVA should rarely, if
ever, be used in rebinding old books? If the latter, I defer to your
expertise. If the former, I disagree.

Rupert N. Evans
Prairie Publications
101 West Windsor Road, #4107
Urbana, IL 61802-6697
vox 217-337-7833
fax 217-337-7469

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