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musty books

For Josh Page:  the following has been excerpted from the NEDCC Web site,

How can I remove the musty smell from old books?=20

There is no guaranteed way to remove the musty smell from old books, but
there is a strategy that may be successful. This musty smell is most often
noted in books that have been moldy or mildewed in the past.=20

The first step is to create an enclosed chamber. This is most easily done
by using two garbage cans, one large (with a lid) and one small. The object
to be "deodorized" should be placed in the smaller can, which is then
placed inside the larger can. Some type of odor-absorbing material should
then be placed in the bottom of the larger can. Odor-absorbing materials to
try include baking soda, charcoal briquettes (without lighter fluid), or
kitty litter. The lid should then be placed on the larger can, and the
chamber should be left for some time. You will need to monitor periodically
to see how long the materials need to be left inside the chamber.=20

A second option is the use of paper containing Zeolite molecular traps.
Known as MicroChamber=AE products, these papers have proven very effective a=
removing odors. We suggest placing a sheet of the fine, 100% cotton
interleaving tissue between the front board and the endpaper, every 50
pages throughout the volume, and again between the back board and endpaper.
Close the book and set it aside until the odor is reduced. For product
information and supplies contact Conservation Resources at 1-800-634-6932.=


I hope this is of some help. I don't think freezing or interleaving with
newsprint will do anything.  Fresh air and sunshine might help - fan the
books (by standing on edge) so all the pages are exposed.  Please refrain
from spraying with Lysol - if you are handling anything of value it would
be best to steer clear of chemicals, including ozone (often used to
'deodorize' collections on a large scale; ozone is a chemical initiator and
will hasten deterioration of your collections).

Feel free to call or contact us directly if you have any other questions
concerning preservation of your collections.  Karen


I'd appreciate any comments about treating books that have a musty odor.
Two treatments I've heard about are freezing and interleaving the pages
with blank newsprint. Does either method have merit? How long do the
treatments take? Are there simpler and/or more effective treatments?
Josh Page
email: Pagebook@eritter.net
home addr: Rt 65 Box 233 Kingston, AR 72742
phone: 870-861-5831

Karen E.K. Brown
Field Service Representative
Northeast Document Conservation Center
100 Brickstone Square
Andover, MA  01810-1494
Tel.(978) 470-1010
Fax (978) 475-6021

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