«Deteriorating Paper in Sweden A Deterioration Survey of the Royal Library, Gothenburg University Library, Uppsala University Library and the National ...»
Palm, J. och Culihed, P., Papperskvalitet - en jämförande studie vid Uppsala universitetsbibliotek, Carolinarapport 7. ISSN 0280Also published in a German version Papierqualitat. Restauro 1:1988.
U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Book Preservation Technologies, OTA - 0 - 375 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, May 1988).
Walker, G., Greenfield, J., Fox, J. & Simonoff, J.S., The Yale Survey: A Large-Scale Study of Book Deterioration in the Yale University Library. College andResearch Libraries. March 1985.
Aldring/nedbrytning av papper - en litteraturöversikt. Christer Fellers et al.
[ed. TomLindström], FoU-projektet for papperskonservering.
Rapport nr 1. Stockholm 1988. ISSN 0284-5636.
PAPER QUALITY - A COMPARATIVE DETERIORATION SURVEY AT
UPPSALA UNIVERSITY LIBRARYPreviuosly published in German: Papierqualitat. Restauro 1:1988.
During the last decades, reports have been published describing an impending catastrophy concerning our intellectual heritage around the world. This catastrophy is due to the use of paper of an inferior quality which has been used since the middle of the last century.
As the demand for more paper increased, the manufacturing processes were changed and rationalised. Among other things the use of groundwood pulp and acid sizing were introduced.
The reports have all declared high percentages of volumes with deteriorated paper.
Library of Congress, Washington declares that about 30% of the collections are unusable, Harvard University Library 40 % and Stanford University Library 26 %.
Reading these reports made us concerned about the condition of paper in Swedish libraries. Thus we decided to carry out an investigation to determine the conditon of books at the Uppsala University Library. The main method used in the investigations reported was a simple folding test of the paper in randomly chosen books. The report from the Stanford University Library' was the only one with a detailed description of the method used and we thought it would be interesting to carry out our investigation using it.
Our results could then be directly compared with the Stanford results. We thought it necessary to add a more thorough analysis of the folded paper to determine the reliability of the Stanford folding test.
The Stanford investigation was also the only one that treated books as complete objects - bound and with covers - which is quite important when the discussion concerns the availability of library material.
The hypothesis was that one should be able to randomly choose a number of books and judge them by a set of standards. The result would show the percentage of deteriorated books in an entire collection.
1 Deterioration survey of the Stanford University Libraries Green Library Stack collection, Buchanan, Sarah & Coleman, Sandra. Preservation planning program, Resource notebook, ed.
Darling, Pamela W., Washington D.C. 1982
2W.J. Barrow Research Laboratory, Permanence/Durability of the book, Publications I-IV, Richmond, Va.
1963-1974 3 M. Carl Drott, Random sampling: A tool for library research, College and Research Libraries, March 1969, p.
Paper samples were then cut from each book. An approximately 1 cm wide strip was cut in an unobstrusive way from the front edge of a page from the book block. The paper samples were collected and subjected to analyses while the survey team conducted a survey according to the Stanford method.
Results After one month we were able to compare the results from our own survey team with those from Stanford. We were also able to compare the survey team results with the analyses of the paper.
The Stanford method results on the grading of paper, binding and cover (gradings 0, 1 and 2 changed to our 1, 2 and 3) were weighed against each other in the following
•a book is considered as deteriorated 3 if the paper grading is 3 or if both the binding and cover is 3
•a book is moderately deteriorated 2 if the paper grading is 2 or if both binding and cover are 2 or if either binding or cover is 3
-every other combination shows that the book is in a good condition 1.
The following graphs (Fig. 1 & 2), depicting a comparison between the Uppsala and Stanford surveys, show that the condition of the books at Uppsala University Library is slightly better than that of Stanford University Library. One can only speculate on the reasons for this. One factor could be the different climatic conditions, another maybe the use of different paper qualities.
Fig. 1. Weighted values at Uppsala University Library.
40,75% In our survey only three books, i.e. 0.7%, were graded 3 due to the binding and cover conditions. 22% of the collection were graded 3 due to the paper grading. In total this would amount to 770 000 volumes of the entire library collection.
The paper analyses compared with the survey team results In this comparison we have used the grading of paper in the survey but renamed each level to P1, P2 and P3 (P stands for Papergrading).
•P1 is good condition
•P2 is worn condition
•P3 is deteriorated condition.
The P-figures from the survey were compared with the analyses data.
1. The first comparison was between the pH-values and the P—figures. Our hypothesis was that the pH of the samples graded P3 should be lower than the pH in the P1-samples.
The results were as follows:
pH 5.0 pH 4.9 pH 4.6 The figures show that the pH of the P3-samples are the lowest and this shows that the hypothesis is correct.
2. The second hypothesis was that paper containing lignin and/or alum rosin size are of an inferior quality compared to purified neutrally sized paper. The amount of P3-samples should be larger if either lignin or alum rosin size is present and the amount should be even larger if both factors are present.
The graphs (Fig. 3, 4 & 5) show a gradual increase in P3 which shows that the hypothesis is correct.
Fig. 3. Distribution of P-values among samples with neither lignin or alum rosin size.
We decided to compare the condition of the books from the 19th century with the fiber content in the paper samples from the same books, as they had been aged a minimum of 86 years. Thus the third hypothesis was that samples from the 19th century with P1 (Fig.
6) ought to be made from raw materials of a good quality e.g. rag pulp and neutral sizing.
Fig. 6. Fibre content in papers with P 1 pre-1900.
The conclusion of the comparison is that the content of rag pulp is high at P1. The following graph (Fig. 7) shows the proportion when the grading is P3. In this case the content of rag pulp is far less.
Fig. 7. Fibre content in papers with P 3 pre-1900.
We compared the gradings P1 and P3 before the year 1900 with the alum rosin size and/or lignin content in these samples, the result was 'P1: 57.14% contained alum rosin size and 12.24% lignin.
'P3: 90% contained alum rosin size and 76.% lignin.
These results show that the hypothesis was correct.
Conclusion Our comparison between P-figures and the paper analyses shows that paper, made of good quality raw materials is generally graded P1 whereas paper made of inferior raw
materials is graded P3. Thus we have come to the conclusion that:
'the Stanford method can be used to get a fair idea of the condition of the paper in a library collection.
The conception of deteriorated books In many surveys similar to that of the Stanford University Library there have been reports of percentages of books in such a state of deterioration that they are unusable. These books correspond to the ones in the Stanford method graded 2 (our grading 3). However it is striking that many of these deteriorated books are quite usable as regards the paper quality. The criteria for an unusable book is not as much that the paper breaks in a folding test but more that it breaks in the hinge when reading it. The paper folding technique in the test represents quite a different handling than normally used.
As mentioned earlier it is possible to give a fair idea of the paper quality of a library collection using the Stanford method but we are convinced that one should be more restrictive in the use of the conception deteriorated books when an investigation is mainly based on the condition of the paper.
The conclusions drawn from this investigation are the following:
The Stanford survey method is simple to use and can be used to investigate library collections giving a general idea of their condition. Certain conclusions can be made about the availability of the collections.
It has been possible to establish that the Uppsala University Library collection is in a somewhat better state than many other collections.
The availability of a book is limited mainly because of damages to the binding and cover, and not to the paper. This conclusion is based partly on the findings of this survey, and partly on the practical experience from the preservation section at the library.
The survey is an instrument by which you can gain knowledge of the state of deterioration state and moreover, if the survey is repeated, on the rate of deterioration of a library collection.
The period 1880 - 1900 shows an increase in P3 in relation to the total amount of volumes. This means that inferior paper quality is prevalent during this period.
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