Preservation: practical information sheets

Practical information sheets: chemistry and biology

The team working at BnF’s scientific laboratory provide assistance and advice to staff responsible for preserving collections (quality control of materials and the environment, analysis and expert reports on old and contemporary documents, and involvement in research projects and training).

Expert biological reports (mold on old and contemporary documents)

Managing collections requires regular checks to be carried out on their state. These checks can sometimes identify suspected microbiological contamination. This type of incident must be managed quickly so as to limit the spread of contaminants.

Three levels of intervention when faced with fungal contamination: assess, diagnose, and treat.

By Tony Basset and Stéphane Bouvet


Indicative list of companies able to carry out document disinfection using ethylene oxide


la fiche pratique [fichier .pdf – 23 Ko – 19/08/08]

Effects of erasers on paper cellulose

By Thi-Phuong Nguyen, Stéphane Bouvet and Myriam Eveno

Erasers are mainly used in maintaining and dusting soiled documents. They are in use throughout BnF’s workshops, and are of an extremely wide variety of compositions, colors, and textures. Over and above the requirements of a particular treatment and in spite of all the care that may be taken when using erasers, particles can remain locked inside paper pores. What happens to these residues in the long term, and what effects can they have on paper cellulose itself over a period of years? This study attempts to answer this question.

la fiche pratique [fichier .pdf – 67 Ko – 19/10/07 – 5 p.]

Preliminary study with a view to improving the operating conditions for the splitting process

By Thi-Phuong Nguyen and Stéphane Bouvet

This study aims to propose an operating protocol for the splitting process that is as simple as possible to use and as favorable as possible for the integrity of the document being treated. In particular, it aims to check the usefulness and effects on documents of certain processing steps such as washing in boric solution and enzymatic washing.

la fiche pratique [fichier .pdf – 96 Ko – 19/10/07 – 7 p.]

See also

la fiche pratique clivage [fichier .pdf – 165 Ko – 19/05/03 – 2 p.]

Monday, April 4, 2011