Preservation: expertise and services

The National library of France offers preservation services related to its production activities to external institutions, libraries and archives.

For restoration, disinfection, deacidification and analysis services, the transportation, documents insurance and travel expenses are to be borne by the applicant.

Mass deacidification services

To produce newspapers and books in huge quantities, printers and publishers began from the years 1870 to use mostly papers made from woodpulp (and particularly from mechanical woodpulps, the cheapest ones) ; after some decades, these papers of poor quality turned acid and yellow, and the documents became no more usable by the public because the leaves lost their suppleness and mechanical resistance.

In cooperation with the Centre de recherche sur la conservation des collections – CRCC (formerly the Centre national de la recherche sur la conservation des documents graphiques – CRCDG), BnF has adapted an existing process which makes it possible to neutralize acid in the paper.

A deacidification unit was then settled at the BnF Sablé Center. Batches of 100 to 200 volumes are treated in a vacuum chamber where they are first dehydrated (paper moisture is brought back to 0,5%) before being immersed in an aqueous solution composed of freon (90%) and magnesium ethoxide under pressure. 25,000 to 30,000 volumes a year can be treated in the deacidification unit.

Cost :
21 euros + VAT per kilogrammes of documents
(insurance and transportation not included)
The minimum order is 5 kilogrammes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Centre technique de conservation Joël‑le‑Theule
Annie Bonnaud - Director
Alain Lefebvre - Chemical expert
Le Château
72300 Sablé-sur-Sarthe
Email :

For more info

sur la désacidification de masse [fichier .pdf – 315 Ko – 14/10/09 – 24 p.] in Actualités de la conservation, n° 22-23, janvier-juin 2005