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Re: [BKARTS] Rubber Cement Stains


You've got a double whamy on that one. First off,  wetting coated paper can
pose a problem. It will sometimes pulp immediately. Second, there are myriad
formulae for inks. It would help to know the manufacture of the ink. Or if
you have the actual "weapon" you could write on a waste sheet and  experiment
with different solvents on the ink without damaging the  Bible while you
search for a suitable solvent.

Using solvents can be a ticklish situation too.  You need to find one that
dissolves the ball-point ink without affecting the text-ink or marring the
surface of the paper. Clay-coated paper shows no affect from most non-aqueous
solvents, but more modern acrylic and pyroxylin coated papers will be
affected by many solvents. Especially those containing various alcohols,
toluene, acetone, MEK, etc.  My first choice of solvents would be white
mineral spirits. ALWAYS test a small area with a cotton swab. If the ink
color shows on the swab then you know it is, at least somewhat, soluble. Try
this again on the text-ink. If that is not soluble you MAY have the right
solvent for the job. Many inks have what I call, for lack of the better name,
a double pigment formula. A solvent will remove, or at least cause to bleed,
one portion of the ink while a remnant stays without being affected.

The most potent ball-point solvent I have seen is nn-dimethylformamide. I
once had relative sucess in removeing most of a foul remark someone has
scrawled onto the title page of a rare book. The best I could do was having a
light blue cloud on the page. I may have been able to achieve a better
appearance had I been able to emerse the sheet. Unfortunately the text-ink
was also soluble by this method. But a light blue cloud is better that a
string of expletives. While all solvents, water excepted, pose  varrying
degrees af harmful effects, particular caution must be taken with
nn-dimethylformimide. It is a known carcinogen and will also cause mutations
in human ovae. This substance  should not be used by or around women of child
bearing age. This substance also should not be used without a fume hood or a
mask rated for use with this solvent.

If I were the owner of the book I would do one of two things. One, would be
to heave a sigh and leave it as it is. The other would be to make a computer
scan and delete the scribbling with a "paint program" and print-out the
result on glossy paper.

I'm sorry I couldn't give you a pat answer. You could consult the Library of
Congress Preservation Office, but I think you'll get the same answer there.
If you do find a solution where the ink can actually be removed without
damage to the paper, PLEASE let me know about it.


Ed Stansell

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