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


I began work as a professional bookbinder in 1959. I don't recollect any
particuar interest in preservation at that period, by anyone. Only with the
advent of the U.S. Civil War Centenniel was there any thought given to the
idea that it might be a good thing to preserve and restore, rather than
rebind or discard. I believe that is also the reason you can't find many
instances of deacidified books from fifty years ago. Also, the need was not
so great. Low pH paper was relatively new, in the scheme of things and that
which had been produced had for the most part not yet began to show signs of
decay.  So, little need and little interest resulted in little
deacidification being done.

Even today, rag papers of the 19th century and before, do not usually require
buffering if they have become acidic.  They have become acidic through
airborne contaminates, such a coal smoke, auto exhaust etc. These substance
are easily removed by washing. This can be proven with a pH indicator.
Buffering would just be superfluous. If deacidification and buffering is all
that are needed, with no necessity of stain removal. I would recommend that
the book be left intact and a non- aqueous deacidifier be used.

Ed Stansell

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