JAIC 1982, Volume 21, Number 2, Article 4 (pp. 59 to 76)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1982, Volume 21, Number 2, Article 4 (pp. 59 to 76)


J. Nelson, A. King, N. Indictor, & D. Cabelli


THE EFFECTS OF WASHING PAPERS of varying permanence in waters of varying purity, as observed under the described conditions, are not clear cut. A number of issues would bear further study. However, it is clear from this preliminary work that the different papers do not respond uniformly to given conditions, and that each paper responds variously to differing conditions. Thus, findings obtained by evaluating any one kind of paper do not appear to be universally applicable. However, certain observations may be made on the basis of the data presented here.

New York City tap water was not shown to be deleterious under any conditions. However, as noted in the Tang and Jones study,31 tap water quality is subject to great variability, and cannot be recommended without reservation.

Likewise, the nitrogen-stabilized distilled water was shown to be deleterious. But since the nature of its inorganic contaminants is dependent on the composition of the tap water from which it is distilled, neither can it be recommended.

The deionized water was shown to be deleterious to the pH of the two papers expected to be the least permanent and moderately permanent, Aquabee Newsprint Rough 887-R and Whatman Chromatography #1, respectively, and to their folding endurance when the washed papers were subsequently dry oven aged. However, the deionized water wash was not deleterious to Arches Cover Infinity, the paper buffered with 3% calcium carbonate to enhance permanence.

The findings suggest: 1) that highly purified wash waters are capable of removing a substance from some of the papers treated, while the alkaline wash waters are capable of depositing a substance in some of the papers treated, in this study both substances being alkaline salts; 2) that the substance is beneficial, i.e., its presence causes the paper to retain properties that are otherwise altered by dry oven aging; and 3) that the more of the substance there is, whether deposited during manufacturing processes or by the washing treatment, the greater is its beneficial effect.

Copyright 1982 American Institute of Historic and Artistic Works