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[BKARTS] Encapsulation/Ballot question



Dear Bill and all,
I wish that it was standard practice to leave an opening on a sealed edge of
an encapsulation, but it is not, even in large institutional operations where
they should know better. And yes, such an opening does allow for limited
atmospheric exchange; very limited in the case of encapsulations stacked in a
drawer or box, rarely handled, as they most often are.
The inclusion of a buffered paper sheet will certainly help, even
contributing to the deacidification of the ballot surface with which it is in
contact. But given the description of the ballot, I can't help but think that
more extensive treatment is desirable, though perhaps not affordable.
Jane Brown and I both drew attention to the fact that the static hold
generated by an encapsulation can accelerate fracturing and breakage in an
already damaged artifact.
It is my firm belief that the first and best thing we can do for a
deteriorated(ing) paper artifact is humidification, a full washing if
feasible, ideally to be followed by consolidation with an appropriate size
and repair to all damage and fractures. There is no reason, in most cases, to
not incorporate deacidification and buffering with this work.
I think that encapsulation without this work should be considered part of a
phased conservation program, only a holding action until full treatment is
possible/affordable. Is it better than doing nothing? Of course! But the odds
are excellent that once encapsulated, nothing more will be done for the
ballot. And there is the very real risk of inadvertently accelerating the
degradation already in progress.
All best,
James
PS I realize that, being in private practice, my ideas have little relevance
for those faced with the pressures inherent in institutional settings, and so
I mean no criticism.



James Tapley
Hand Bookbinder
2077 Thirteenth Street
Sarasota, FL 34237
USA
Tel 941 366 8248

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