Monday, December 14, 2015

Notes on disaster planning

Most disasters tend to occur when the building is unoccupied.

Over 90% of all disasters will result in water-damaged materials.


Mould can develop within 48-72 hours in a warm, humid environment.


Set salvage priorities


  1. Intrinsic value
  2. Research value
  3. Historical value
  4. Value to collection
  5. Replacement cost
  6. Availability in different format

Simple preventive measures

  1. Store items 4”-6” (10-15 cm) above floor level
  2. Don’t store items under pipes and drains
  3. Use heavy plastic sheeting to protect items at risk
  4. Seal windows with duct tape
Salvage procedures for water-damaged paper materials

Air drying


  1. Requires space and work tables
  2. Can be very labour intensive
  3. Results can be uneven
  4. Books may require rebinding
  5. Coated papers require great care
  6. Requires good air circulation and low relative humidity

Freezing

  1. Stabilizes wet materials and prevents additional damage
  2. Provides additional time to make decisions
  3. Use blast freezer at -10F to reduce distortion
  4. Items may be lest frozen indefinitely with no additional damage
  5. Books in a self-defrosting freezer will dry out eventually
Vacuum freeze drying

  1. The safest and most successful salvage method for paper but also the most expensive
  2. Frozen books are placed in a vacuum chamber
  3. Ice in books vaporizes without melting
  4. Some items may require rebinding
  5. Process very successful with coated papers, if frozen c. 6 hours after wet
Vacuum thermal drying

  1. Wet or frozen books are placed in a drying chamber
  2. Books are dried at 32F+
  3. Process often produces extreme distortion

Dehumidification

  1. Massive dehumidifiers dry building and all contents at same time
  2. No need to remove, pack, freeze, etc.
  3. Originally developed for dying out holds of ships
  4. Can be quite effective even with moderately wet coated papers
References
Basic Conservation of Red Archival Materials (Red Book) http://www.cdncouncilarchives.ca/public_free.html#2


A Manual for Small Archives: 6, Conservation and Security http://web.archive.org/web/20041205211016/http://aabc.bc.ca/aabc/msa/6_conservation_and_security.htm


Disaster Prevention and Response http://web.archive.org/web/20010612111356/http://www.dupage.edu/soaring/disaster.html

Disaster Recovery Plan http://web.archive.org/web/20010419140226/http://www.dupage.edu/soaring/disasterplan.html


Library and archival disaster: preparedness and recovery. [videorecording] Z 697.7 .1527 1986


Salvage Operations for Water Damaged Archival Collections: A Second Glance by Betty Walsh, 2003, 27 p. http://www.cdncouncilarchives.ca/salvage_en.pdf

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