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Subject: Blocking of 20th century coated papers

Blocking of 20th century coated papers

From: David A. Tremain <david_tremain>
Date: Wednesday, November 4, 1998
Amanda Clydesdale <mandyc [at] aocscot__co__uk> writes

>Among the material we are freeze-drying for a client are a number of
>bound volumes of "Country Life", between 1900 and 1930; they are
>printed on semi-gloss glazed paper. Many of them had dried around
>the edges before they could be salvaged: these dried areas remain
>stuck together after freeze-drying, although can be separated with
>care and the application of a small amount of IMS. They can be
>air-dried fairly successfully if thawed, although the dried areas
>remain stuck together, and the covers of the bound volumes tend to
>distort. On several volumes the dried area is too great to allow
>separation. I've found one reference that mentions this, but with
>no information on how to overcome the problem: any ideas?

If the paper is wet, but has not reached the point where it becomes
saturated and the coating is beginning to dissolve, then it is
sometimes possible to separate pages and air-dry them. Once the
paper dries and fuses to adjacent pages, then separation becomes
very difficult to separate without causing physical damage i.e.
removing the surface coating and the ink.Sometimes edge adhesion
such as Amanda Clydesdale describes can be physically separated with
a spatula or palette knife, providing the extent of the adhesion is
only a few millimetres into the margins. The important thing is to
freeze everything as soon as it's discovered, before it has time to
dry out and fuse together.

I am attaching a copy of some notes I prepared for a client which
contain references which might help answer some of your questions.

    **** Moderator's comments: The article has been added to
    Conservation OnLine:
    <URL:http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byauth/tremain/coated.html>

David Tremain
Conservator, Preventive Conservation Services
Canadian Conservation Institute
613-998-3721
Fax: 613-998-4721

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:42
                 Distributed: Monday, November 9, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-42-001
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 4 November, 1998

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