The Epidemic in the Archives: A Layman’s Guide to Cellulose Acetate Lamination

Eddie Woodward

Abstract

Most RBM readers are archivists and rare-book librarians. As a preservation professional, what would you do if you knew that there were certain documents and manuscripts in your collection that were deteriorating at a faster rate than others? What if the only way of treating those items to stop or significantly slow the deterioration was difficult, time consuming, expensive, and could only be performed by trained conservators? What if there were hundreds, thousands, or even millions of such documents and manuscripts within your collection and if nothing was done they would eventually deteriorate so as to become unsalvageable? What if some of these items in your collection might already be too far gone to be saved?

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