Images and text by Garry
Head, Circulating Collections Conservation,
University Libraries Preservation Department
Shown below are the various
types of paper used in our lab.
This is used to extract
moisture away from flat paper mends and sometimes for interleaving wet
books. As can be seen in the side-lighted photo, its surface is somewhat
textured. The fiber content of the blotter we use is pure cotton, as it
has a high capacity for absorption.
This paper is used to make
replacement labels for the spines of books whose originals have been
damaged or lost. It is cut into 8.5" x 11" sheets and used in a regular
inkjet printer. Each sheet of labels is sprayed with an acrylic fixative
following printing, then trimmed to size using a knife and straight
The long fibers from which
this paper is made are oriented in such a way as to result
in a material which is quite strong for its thickness. As such, it
is the material of choice for paper mending, and it can be used with
either wheat paste or PVA mixture as the adhesive.
This 80 lb. Text weight paper
is used for spine liners and end sheets. We keep it in two colors (white
and off-white) and two finishes (smooth and eggshell). Its grain runs
long (lengthwise) when drawn as a full sheet from the
Ordinary newsprint paper is
used as scrap for applying adhesives and for interleaving wet books. As
it is not an archival material, it does not become any part of any repair
or enclosure treatment.
Regular copier paper is used
for the routine business of the lab, but archival paper is used for
anything that is going to become part of a book or an enclosure. This
would include replacement pages and copies of decorative or informational
endpapers. Archival paper is often identifiable by a watermark, as shown
in the enhanced-contrast illustration.
Because of its resistance to
adhesion, waxed paper is used as an adhesive mask for PVA and PVA
mixture. Ideally, it should be of a heavier gauge than the ordinary
kitchen variety, as the added strength is sometimes needed for release
from the dried adhesive. We buy large rolls of heavy waxed kraft paper, which works very well for the purpose.
Freezer paper can be used to
wrap wet books as they are packed into boxes. One surface of the paper is
stick-resistant due to a polyurethane coating, and wrapping should be
done in such a manner that this glossy surface is the one that is in
contact with the books.
Freezer paper also works well as an adhesive mask for use with PVA/mixture. However only the treated side is resistant to adhesion, so it is often necessary to use two sheets with both coated sides out, simulating a sheet coated on both sides.
Complete Treatments Manual Table of Contents