Moth balls

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    • #133284
      James DaMico

      Hi, We received a collection of mostly typescript and some manuscript documents that were stored in a house full of moth balls. The smell is strong enough, which indicates to me that the chemical compounds have absorbed into the paper, that one of options I am looking at is to just photocopy the collection onto Bond paper and dispose of the affected paper thus minimizing risk to staff and the collections. I am looking to get feedback on whether or not this is the right way to go and what alternatives there are to consider.

    • #133285

      Dear James
      I would be very concerned at the idea of disposing of the originals unless they really were too dangerous to keep.
      1. I would scan them at a high resolution, preferably both sides.
      2. I would investigate removing the odor by possibly airing them in a fume cupboard, vacuum treatment, book deodorisers or just putting a batch in a sealed polythene or polypropylene box over a tray of cat litter to absorb the odors. Make sure the papers do not touch the litter.
      3. Has the substance been identified ? Is it camphor? Naptha? Are there legal requirements for disposal of this chemical in your area? Some substances like camphor can soften plastics.

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