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Re: [BKARTS] Itchy hand syndrome and old childrens books



I appreciate  your feedback Carol and Signa.  It confirms my belief that I
shouldn't even touch the darn things.

Best left for a book and paper 'conservator' (point taken Peter).

There happens to be one in town, so I will refer her right over to them.

Thanks.

Connie

-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of
Carol Pratt
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 10:43 AM
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Itchy hand syndrome and old childrens books


The first thing that popped into my head— Acid paper.

Twenty-five years ago in another life, when I worked in the catalog
dept of our university library, there were two people in that
department who had developed a skin sensitivity to certain kinds of
paper.  The culprits seemed to be NCR paper AND OLD PAPER of various
kinds.  One of these people cataloged (or re-cataloged) old
materials, and he also used some NCR forms.  The other, the binding
clerk, seemed to have a problem only with the NCR processing forms
that she sent off with each bundle of journals.  She had intermittent
problems; the cataloger wore protective gloves all the time when
working with either kind of material.  My thought was that their
problems were the result of either acid chemicals or acids in the
papers.  Or perhaps the dust (which is considered acidic) from the
paper/books.

Early on, I had been told by some preservation guru (which one is
forgotten) that the odd smell of an old book is characteristic of
high-acid paper, noticeable even before the paper is especially
brittle.  She/he was not talking about musty smell of mildew or
dampness.  That's a different odor.

This is only conjecture.  I'd like to hear theories that other
conservator types might have.  It's also possible that NEDCC (New
England Document Conservation Center) or CCI (Canadian Conservation
Institute) might have some answers.

Carol
Eugene, OR
-----

On Aug 17, 2006, at 7:25 PM, Stuff@Peabodypdx wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I've received a call from a customer who mentions that each time
> they start
> opening books her husband had as a child, their hands start to
> itch.  I
> haven't seen the books, she says they are in good shape but have
> the itchy
> hand problem.
>
> Can mould be causing this issue?  What other questions should I
> pose to her?
> I plan on wearing gloves when handling the books that's for sure.
>
> My first reaction is to refer her to a conservationist.  In no way
> do I want
> to get close to providing the kind of services I think she is
> needing.  I'll
> gladly defer to the conservation professionals as I do with other
> books that
> are obviously in need of advanced specialized care.
>
> How should she box them up to send off?
>
> First I'd like to understand what the process will be to fix her
> problem so
> I can explain to her what she is facing.
>
> Thank you in advance for your postings on the possible causes of
> the case of
> itchy hand syndrome.
>
> Connie Peabody
>
>              ***********************************************
>
> Guild of Book Workers' 100th Anniversary Exhibition Now Online -
> Catalog Available
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>
>                     Flag Book Bind-O-Rama and Exhibit
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             ***********************************************

Guild of Book Workers' 100th Anniversary Exhibition Now Online - Catalog
Available
               <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/gbw/>

                    Flag Book Bind-O-Rama and Exhibit
                   Entry Deadline, September 15, 2006

             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.

          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
             ***********************************************

             ***********************************************
                                    
Guild of Book Workers' 100th Anniversary Exhibition Now Online - Catalog Available
               <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/gbw/>
                                    
                    Flag Book Bind-O-Rama and Exhibit
                   Entry Deadline, September 15, 2006
                                    
             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
                                    
          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
             ***********************************************


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