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Re: [BKARTS] reversible, archival glues

Everything degrades over time, even us. How quickly things degrade and what the net effect is varies greatly though. In the pantheon of adhesives paste and gelatin are among the best and most stable and effective.

But doesn't gelatin degrade over time, too?

I really don't find any adhesives terribly messy, except perhaps that "tube" of liquid nails that exploded on me (not book related). Ultimately, it really just comes down to facility in working with adhesives, neatness, ...

Bugs, they can be attracted to certain adhesives. They also like the starches in paper and book cloth. On the other hand, their presence is also a factor of environment. Keep things so they don't like coming around and they largely won't. Of course, if you live in the tropics you've got other issues as well. I don't recommend adding thymol to anything. As for acidity, if you're really concerned you could buffer the paste. Ultimately though, I think sound technique and structure are going to contribute more to the well-being of the item than if the pH of the paste is 6.5 or 7.5.

Bottom line, paste and gelatin are among the best and most stable and effective. As with all things, it comes down to knowing how to make and use them.



Peter D. Verheyen
Bookbinder & Conservator, PA - AIC
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