Smell on old music scores

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      I have a box of donated music scores, some handwritten, others printed from the 1960’s-70’s.  Some are the old thermograph copies from the 1970’s.  (I think that’s the correct term, they’re the copies made from the roll of paper that fade easily.)  Others are on very thick music score paper. Although not brittle all the scores smell musty and slightly vinegary and sulfuric , or as one of my students noted, “Old man house smell.” (Apologies to any mature gentlemen out there.)  I did not notice any mold or pests.  A couple of the scores have old scotch tape, some rusty paperclips and coffee stains and one has an ancient red and white peppermint stuck to the paper.  After handling the scores and washing my hands twice, I can still detect a slight burnt gunpowder sulfuric, vinegar smell.  The scores had been reboxed in a new box (Baker & Taylor new book shipment box) to be sent over to me. I do not know if the scores were kept with other mediums such as cd’s, cassette or reel tapes.   Is the vinegar, sulfur smell from decay of cellulose acetate into acidic acid?  If so, can these be deodorized and encapsulated? I’ve heard that cellulose acetate decay must be isolated because it spreads easily to other materials.  Would digitization be a better route? Would deacidification help at all?  The scores are too large to copy on a photocopier. Any advice would be appreciated.

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