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Re: [BKARTS] Odd Thgs-(now)-Deacidification



> The obvious place to look was (initially) with William
> Barrow, but I now understand that most of his work with
deacidification was
> to allow him to, ultimately, laminate the paper. Apparently there is
no easy
> way to find such a book(s) for a comparison. I hear that there are
some 53
> boxes of the Barrow Archives in Virginia that could be examined for
possible
> information about books/paper that he may have treated (and not
laminated).
> With encouragement from some reputable, research chemists, I think
that we
> should find examples of items that were treated long ago. If you have
any
> suggestions as to how we might locate some items/paper that were
deacidified
> 50-70 (or more) years ago, I am interested. I know where we can have
the
> paper/book examined and tested.

Barrow's work would be my suggestion as well- but that only puts us back
to the 1960's.  My knowledge of the history of paper/book treatments
before then is sketchy.  People were immersing paper in water long
before, to clean it, and wash out acids, but was the intentional use of
alkalizing chemicals common?
The chemistry also gets sketchy, because presumably before (and indeed
still common in some places nowadays) labs and studios used deionized,
reverse osmosised, or distilled water, tap water was used.  In many
places, this water can provide the necessary alkalinity for deacidifying
wash. If this is the case, than any paper treated can be used as an
example for testing.  Of course, there is no quantifyable was of knowing
(to the best of my knowledge)  how much of an alkaline compound was
present in the document originally.

-Doug Sanders

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