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Re: Microfilm has vinegar smell! Mary Massey 24 Jul 2007 12:28 UTC

Would add to the others, that NAPC (National Archive Publishing Company) has
some great information and programs for redeeming the infected film. They
suggest to take the film out of the cabinet, because there is a chemical
reaction taking place that could extend to other film as well. They have a
new and ongoing project to reproduce your acetate film onto the polyester
film base which lasts far longer and with greater quality that the acetate.
I have recently acquired A-D strips recommended by LC and NEDCC to evaluate
the reels of film, box by box,for the extent of the deterioration process.
That will indicate to you how much time you have to get the film re-duped
onto polyester and give you some guidelines. I believe some library supply
companies are carrying the information booklets and equipment for the
processes and they are relatively inexpensive. I also procured some packets
(2 x 6") which will help remove humidity in our cabinets. Our film area is
not that far from the entrance to the library and we felt the need to
provide some extra protection for the film. We may use them in our vertical
file area as well if they prove effective in the film area. I am spot
checking them for accumulated moisture every week so we can determine how
long they will provide protection. So far we have passed a month and there
is minimal absorption. We bought a bucket of the packets from a wholesaler
which has an effective cost of 38 cents per packet, and we use 2 packets per
drawer. I prefer to be proactive so that our conditions will keep the film
lasting longer. Our re-duping process will begin shortly after we have a
chance to evaluate our acetate film. We can smell the vinegar, so the
process of deterioration has begun in earnest. The total cost of re-duping
each reel is less than $20 and they use your film to redo onto polyester. It
will be necessary for us to check the film for clarity before sending and
that will have some labor intensity to it, but the cost is less than
repurchase and it will secure our other film from more rapid decay. I am
trying to keep up with all of the details as we do this process so that I
can publish an article about the process and results. I think early next
year I should have enough information to share with everyone. I'll alert the
Listserv when that is completed. Perhaps you will find it helpful.

Tinker Massey
Serials Librarian
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Kate Hood
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 2:52 PM
Subject: [SERIALST] Microfilm has vinegar smell!

What are your experiences with "vinegar syndrome"?  We have just discovered
it in some of our microfilm.

Questions I have:

1)  How urgent is it to have the film copied once the smell is first
detected?  (It is old film of our Greensboro newspaper, and the public
library - not our library, is the permanent depository.)
2)  Can the "infected" reels be isolated in drawers, or does it spread from
drawer to drawer?  We have noticed it in certain types of boxes only.

Thanks for any information you can supply.

Kate Hood
Library Associate for Serials and Binding Guilford College, Serials Library
5800 W. Friendly Ave.
Greensboro, NC  27410
336-316-2362; 336-316-2449 fax