Restoration of Special Collections and Rare Books Including Leather and Vellum
At our Rushville facility, we developed an improved method of removing the water from water-damaged books made with leather and vellum. The objective is to do this with little or no distortion taking place in the covers, binding structure, and individual pages.
Early work done by Document Reprocessors at the Los Angeles Public Library disaster involving vellum-bound volumes and a modified vacuum freeze-drying chamber demonstrated considerable success in drying the items, but the distortion issue with leather and vellum was not totally resolved.
Our new cryogenic drying process, dubbed "Cryo-Drying," employs a large temperature differential between a collector plate and the book in order to considerably slow down the rate of water loss from the text block and the binding material.
The entire process may take several weeks or more depending on the amount of water in the volume. This process has successfully restored special collections dating back to the 16th Century.
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