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Re: [BKARTS] Preserving newspaper

I agree with everything Peter has said below. An added point, however, the Bookkeeper products do not clog the spray nozzle. They are also less likely to cause inks to flow under the solvents. I have not used Wei T'o for years because of the nasty solvents in them and the occasional problem with inks. When using Bookkeeper, however, I open windows, run fans, and wear a face mask (solvent type), even though the carrier is supposed to be non-toxic. The comment of a health and safety engineer, who spoke at AIC several years ago, still rings for me—"non-toxic only means that the rat didn't die"!

The water bath method works very well, provided there is no sensitivity to wetting. It does take a lot more time, however, plus the added problems of working with wet, fragile paper and drying it.

I tend to consider the initial darkening of treated newspaper is a cosmetic issue. Untreated newsprint will also darken over time and will eventually overtake the treated, as its internal chemistry worsens. I usually advise people to make photocopies of newspaper materials on preservation grade paper, if they really want to preserve the information. Most people are reluctant to give up their funky old brown stuff, however, and will pay to preserve it as an artifact.

Carol Pratt
Eugene, OR

On Thursday, November 18, 2004, at 06:51 AM, Peter Verheyen wrote:

Chemically I consider the products equal. That said there are several
drawbacks for the Wei T'o.

1. Solvent based - You MUST use proper ventilation or you will get a nasty
2. The aerosol cans are horrible and clog continually resulting in a huge
amount of waste When I was Archival Product Manager at Gaylord, the rate of
return on them was quite high, and user satisfaction low (the cans were
often VERY full). The clogging was related to humidity/water moisture
causing the magnesium to go out of solution and block not just the nozzle,
but also the valve in the can. The liquid solution that one immerses things
in does not have that problem.

While the cost of the Bookkeeper is higher, the product is relatively
non-toxic, can be used with a regular pump spray bottle.

Deacidification will cause a darkening of high lignin (newsprint) papers,
which may, or may not, be acceptable.

Reformatting is often much more (cost)effective.

What wasn't stated at the beginning of this thread is why the newspaper was
being preserved and how it would need to be used in the future. This kind
of information is critical to giving an appropriate response. The
alternative is going around in circles, not answering the question, and
confusing a lot of people.

Hope this helps,


At 09:37 AM 11/18/2004, you wrote:
Wei T'o is the original
deacidification product on the market and has much testing and field
experience for it to stand on. Bookkeepers is relatively new to the
market, and although significantly more expensive to Wei T'o, has been
advancing by leaps and bounds in the market. I would be hard pressed to
say which is a better product, as you can find test results to support
either side of the argument, which is why we carry both.
Aaron Salik
20 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-219-0770 Phone
212-219-0735 Fax


Peter D. Verheyen
Bookbinder & Conservator, PA - AIC
The Book Arts Web & Book_Arts-L Listserv

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For all your subscription questions, go to the
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