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Re: Preserving newspaper clippings



MaryLu -

In theory, the Magnesium Hydroxide combined with the club soda pretty much
does come up with a deacidification solution.  I'm not familiar enough with
the over-the-counter-antacid to know whether sugars and other things have
been added that would affect the papers.  Dr. Richard Smith (of Wei T'o
fame) came up with a similar recipe, you can find it at
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/abbey/an/an01/an01-15/an115-08.html.

Several caveats should be noted before the genealogists try this at home:
1) Many inks are water soluble.  One should always test the ink(s) very
thoroughly before dipping paper into an aqueous solution.  (Inks have been
known to entirely disappear from paper during this process).

2) Wet paper is extremely fragile.  One can use two pieces of interfacing
(the sew in, NOT the iron on kind) to support the document during the
treatment.

3) As to making brittle documents last for another 100 years?  It may add a
buffer to combat the acid, but it won't make already brittle documents
pliable.

Dolly Blunt
Preservation Officer
Florida State Archives

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