THE ROLE OF GELATIN IN PAPER PERMANENCE
TIMOTHY BARRETT, & CYNTHEA MOSIER
6 FUTURE WORK
In combination with additional work to demonstrate that gelatin does, in fact, occur at higher levels in best present-day condition historical samples, accelerated aging studies will be necessary to understand fully the interrelationship between gelatin and the other components in paper and their respective contributions to paper permanence. Future accelerated aging projects should incorporate exposure to pollutant gasses as well as temperature and humidity cycling to understand more fully the role of gelatin in paper stability. Research of particular interest to conservators will include studies on gelatin's buffering capacity, the relationship between gelatin and alum, and the differences between modern gelatins, historical gelatins, and parchment size prepared in the conservation laboratory. Such work will have a direct bearing on treatment decisions. Common treatment-related questions are: When is resizing important? What type of gelatin should be used? Will a starch, synthetic, or cellulose-derivative size yield the same results as gelatin? And how do the benefits associated with alkalinization/deacidification compare or relate to the importance of resizing? We hope these and additional related questions will be investigated by interested researchers in the not-too-distant future.
Our thanks go to the Grinnell College Chemistry Department and Jim Swartz for access to laboratory facilities. Special thanks go to Irene Brückle for making the required Minolta Chroma Meter L∗ determinations. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation provided the major portion of funds required for this project. We thank Jodie Plumert for her recomendations during preparation of the manuscript and JAIC reviewers and editors whose careful readings and recommendations made a significant improvement in the quality of this report.