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[BKARTS] "Archival" tissue paper



Good afternoon,

 

We found a roll of "archival" tissue paper purchased about ten years ago
which, when tested with an Abbey pen, indicated a high level of acidity
throughout.  This unscientific conclusion of a high level of acidity was
based on the fact that the mark made by the Abbey pen did not turn
purple.  We then investigated the tissue in use with our museum items
and found that it, too, failed to turn the Abbey "ink" purple.
Obviously, we have not taken coursework in paper chemistry. 

 

It was suggested--in the case of the paper still rolled up and in its
cardboard shipping box--that over the course of ten years, acid from the
cardboard box completely migrated into and throughout the roll of
tissue.  Completely.

 

It was also suggested that tissue in use with (archivally) boxed
collection items had become acidic over the course of the ten years due
to exposure to atmospheric particulates and general air quality.  (This
was the vendor's call.)   

 

So, the questions are:

(a)  Could a roll of presumably unbuffered, "archival quality" tissue
paper left in its shipping box be completely and thoroughly contaminated
by acid from the cardboard over the course of ten years?  This seems
pretty speedy to me, but then I'm only guessing.

 

(b)  Could the same tissue paper in use in the collection become acidic
through exposure to atmospheric particulates and air quality here in our
archive which enjoys fairly good environmental controls?

 

(c)  And finally, the "duh" question--Because the tissue was purchased
as unbuffered would this render a yellow reading from an Abbey pen just
because it's supposed to, although that would seem counter-intuitive to
me.

 

--Or possibly, we just purchased tissue paper ten years ago that wasn't
what it purported to be . . . .  

 

We would appreciate any comments

 

Thanks,

Jane


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