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Re: [BKARTS] Which is better? Gudy O or 3M Scotch RMA

I never use Yes! glue anymore. They say is acid free but the experts don't agree. This is what I found when I researched it after I started hearing bad reports (by the way, these are excerpts from the Book Arts archves):
Santa Fe, NM

“ I've heard from many different sources (including a paper conservator) that Yes Paste is not archival even though it says so on the label. I've heard that it will eventually turn brown and discolor the paper after only a few years time. Has anyone had first-hand experience with this?” Julie

“Yes glue does in fact turn yellow. I recently pulled out a collage I had done about 9 years ago and there was yellowing in an area where Yes glue was used. I'm smarter now and use archival products. I would never consider using Yes glue for a permanent piece of art work.” Sally Lancaster - Public Services & Exhibit Librarian

“About 14 years ago before I used PVA or wheat paste. I used Yes to mount a hanging board made from 4 ply museum mount doubled on the back of a very thick sheet (about 600 grams) of paper printed with a cyanotype image.
In about 6 years the paste had turned brown, dried up, and the hanging board had broken away from the thick paper.
I got the address of the Yes people and wrote asking what its pH was and told them about my problem. They replied, it was not too acid, around 4.6 to 5 and maybe I should use a thicker coat of the paste!
So I have not used it since because even if it weren't so acidic, breaking apart in such a short time is unacceptable.”

“When you speak of damage caused by YES Paste, what exactly do you mean?”
“I've seen numerous combinations cited for this commercial product. The most recent I've seen is: mixture of dextrin (a modified starch), corn starch, with water and a preservative (commercial ad, 1996). However, I have had to undo the adhesive (because of the damage it had caused) too often and the generation I had to deal with also appeared to have a protein component (applied possibly late 70's or early 80's). It does discolor (turns dark brown over time) and is tenacious in it's sticking (could be an asset for whatever you are doing). This product is often advertised as "archival".

The use of YES paste I encountered was on stationery-type and fine art papers that had been mounted (to another paper or cloth) or repaired in the past. The paste was turning a deep dark brown (in perhaps as little as 10-20 years). The papers were becoming unevenly brittle and surface appearance was mottled as a result. Also, the uneven application was causing some of the papers to expand and contract
differentially, causing blind and internal tears to the paper support. The fact that the paste was so tenacious compounded the problem, as ease of reversibility is always desired in conservation treatments.

Reversibility may not be an issue with creative persons when creating, but the prospect of eventual severe "browning" and discoloration of paper and cloth might be undesirable. As others have mentioned on the list, there are multiple qualities and factors to consider when choosing an adhesive. Use adhesives that fit your personal parameters and needs.

As I and others have mentioned before, if you are interested in more pro-con technical discussions of issues, try "CoOL which is Conservation-On-Line at: http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/

“Can anyone confirm or deny is "YES" glue considered archival?”

“I have been told by several professional paper conservators that yes paste is not archival. They didn't hesitate when I asked them either!”

When I worked in the Conservation Office of the Library of Congress in the mid-1980s there was much grumbling about the past use of Yes paste for similar reasons to what Stephanie described. It was thought, at the time of its application, that Yes paste was safe for use in the conservation of innumerable items from LCs collections. Of course, it was not OK and the consequences are readily evident, although not easily reversed or treated

Nowadays, we all regret someone's else's earlier treatment methodology or use of particular materials in their art. I would not recommend Yes paste for any conservation treatment. If you want your work or art to deteriorate over time, then by all means use it, but stipulate to the buyer that that is part of the process, an intended consequence, a laugh or slap at the future.

Let's hear a big NO to Yes paste in conservation. I don't expect the use of inappropriate materials in the creation of art to stop. These items will continue to be a headache to future conservators.

Robert J. Milevski
Preservation Librarian
Princeton University Library

Edelpappband / “Millimeter” Binding Bind-O-Rama, Entry Deadline - October 1, 2005
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information

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