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Subject: Cleaning library collections

Cleaning library collections

From: Dale Peters <petersd>
Date: Wednesday, October 11, 1995
Sue Dunlap <sdunlap [at] acs__wooster__edu> writes

>I was thinking about starting an on-going project of cleaning our
>collection...
>Has anyone done a
>rotating schedule of cleaning before that could give me some suggestions?

We are obliged under our humid subtropical conditions to keep our
collections scrupulously clean to prevent mould infestations at
every hiccup of the airconditioning.

We detail one staff member who spends two hours per day, moving
systematically throughout the shelves. He has a backpack vacuum
(SORMA RS12) to give him more mobility, and an extra long flexible
hose to reach up to the top shelf. The hose has an adjustable vent
to regulate the vacuum pressure. The suction on these modern
industrial cleaners is otherwise pretty scary, not to mention
hazardous to the books.  We originally used the brush tool, but
found we were spreading the dirt, and have changed to the crevice
tool, which gives an even stronger suction pressure. A piece of
gauze between the hose and the tool prevents inadvertent losses.

Caroline Horton's book: Cleaning and preserving bindings and related
materials, gives good advice on handling procedures during the
cleaning process.  We transpose individual volumes, once cleaned, to
a book trolley, until the row is complete, then clean the shelf
before switching off, and replacing the volumes on the shelf.

Chemical preparations include 1:1 water/ ethyl alcohol as general
wipe after cleaning, in the case of evident mould. We also apply a
fungicidal liquid dubbin to the leather bindings, also applied
systematically every five years, now that we have the problem under
control.  Dust masks and gloves are of course, essential for your
personal health and safety.

Nothing is more effective than the systematic cleaning programme, we
wish you well.

Dale Peters
Paper Conservator

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:34
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 11, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-34-002
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 11 October, 1995

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