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Subject: Mold

Mold

From: Cor Knops <corknops>
Date: Thursday, October 12, 1995
In the DistList 9:34 I gave the advice to Danna Bell-Russel to
gamma-radiate a part of her collection. I think I have been too
hasty reading her posting in the DistList 9:33.... I think I misread
the word "inactive" for "active", that's the reason why I suggested
gamma-radiation. Of course this treatment will not take away the
smell of the books or papers, it will rather kill the mold and
what's even more important the spores they've produced. My
experience is that the smell of molded books (even after treatment)
is very persistent and can only be diminished by ventilating for a
long period. Here in Holland we used to fumigate or gas books with
all kinds of gases: this produced a smell which was even nastier
then the smell before treatment (these kind of gases are forbidden
now...).

I must apologize for this mistake but still I hope conservators and
librarians are fully aware of the risks molded books can produce in
libraries and archives. As we all know it's very difficult to
determine whether mold is active or inactive (actually it can only
be assessed by laboratory-tests), so in case of doubt one should
always try to eliminate the cause of the problem (i.e. get control
of mold growth and insect infestation), try to create a safe
environment (low and stable RH) and then have a look of the effects
of the problem (such as smell, discolouration and breakdown
products).

Sorry Danna for not having a cut and dried solution for your problem
but I'm sure fellow-distlisters will come up with something....

Cor Knops
Knops Boekrestauratie
Groenstraat 8
6151 CS Munstergeleen
Netherlands
+31 46 529643
+31 46 511822
Fax: +31 46 529643

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:35
                 Distributed: Monday, October 16, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-35-004
                                  ***
Received on Thursday, 12 October, 1995

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