DISASTER PLANNING: Mold and Water Salvage
|Growth Cycle of Mold|
Last week I attended a workshop in Springfield, Illinois at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to learn about salvaging mold and water damaged library materials. It was hosted by Jennifer Hain Teper, Preservation Librarian and Head of Preservation Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Bonnie Parr, Historical Documents Conservator at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
The workshop included an overview of mold and library materials including: sources of mold, a brief introduction to health risks when dealing with mold, and options for remediation/removal. I did not know much about mold going into this workshop, so I was interested to learn some basic facts. For example, mold grows best at high temperatures and high humidity, which is why cold storage is best for archival materials. I also learned too new terms.
|Example of foxing, taken from|
The Private Library
Efflorescence occurs on leather when the environment humidity is too low. It is a salt crystalline structure that creates a white film across leather surfaces. To combat this, libraries used to perform “leather dressing” on materials, which involved rubbing oil on books to hydrate the leather. Unfortunately, this process increases efflorescence because it adds moisture to something that can’t soak it up.
|Salvaging water damaged books|
In a real situation the number of items affected by water would determine the best course of action. A small number can be dried in-house with paper towels, fans, or freezer space. For entire sections of a library that need to be closed off, it is best to have a contract with a salvaging company.
At our tables we pulled items from the bin to see what the damage had been. The books were completely soaked through and weighed about sixty percent more. The ink from book covers leaked into magazines and pictures, and left the water blue.
|Clothesline with pictures and film strips|
I would like to thank Jennifer Hain Teper and Bonnie Parr for presenting to us, and for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library for hosting this event.