Monday, April 16, 2007

Air Sampling to Determine Conservation Needs

UK Channel 4 reports that a team of chemists will be taking air samples from the stacks at the Cambridge University libraries in order to gauge the level of decay in books and determine conservation priority.

A university spokesperson told the station "By sampling the air in different parts of the library, researchers hope to identify the areas with a high acid content, so that the books can be treated before handling and damage cause further decay. The aim is to improve the way the books are stored and, if possible, develop an early warning system that will alert the librarians when decaying books begin to produce significant quantities of destructive acids."

Seems like an interesting concept; I'll have to watch for any followup on this one.

[h/t: Shelf:Life]

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