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   I received this from Ann Frellson, Director of Preservation at Emory
University, in response to my letter concerning mold on library books.
This removal process should be used on books only, not furniture.
                        Madeline Buchanan

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Mold on library books is a problem that we do not have good solutions for
at this time. My recommendation is that you obtain ethanol (100%) (from a
pharmacy-usually hidden behind the counter so you have to ask for it
from the druggist). Do not use denatured alcohols.

Test the cover of each book first. This stuff is powerful and will cause
dyes to release and run.

Carefully and lightly wipe the books with a cloth just barely moistened-
damp, not wet!-- with the ethanol. We use cloths like handiwipes cut into
2-inch squares that are placed in a zip-lock bag with a little ethanol
poured in. Then they sit a few minutes to allow the cloths to become
evenly moistened. This is all done in a well-ventilated area.

Wear gloves and keep your fingers clean between each book. Wipe small
sections at a time not allowing the mold to spread. Wipe about an inch,
then find a new, clean section of the towel, wipe, find new section of
towel, repeat, repeat. It is very important not to spread the spores
around the books' covers. Throw away the dirty cloths. Washing fabric
does not remove mildew spores.

We also put the books outside in the sun on days when the humidity is very
low (less than 40%). The Ultraviolet radiation seems to be a mold
deterrent.  We stand the books up and fan them open facing the sun, and
have a student worker sit out with them for several hours. Turn them to
face the moving sun often. This seems to help the smell, too. But it can
fade illustrations and colored pages.

Another idea we tried was to spray the books before they went out into the
sun very lightly with regular Lysol spray. It contains o-phenyl-phenol
(OPP) that is also a mold growth retardant (Note: it does not kill mold
no matter what their commercial claims!). Check the label to make sure it
is an ingredient.

Nothing kills mold spores, except extreme heat or cold, which will harm
your books worse. You must control the conditions under which these
materials will live from now on or you will always have random occurances
of mold growth. Conditions must be less than 50% humidity and temperatures
of 70 - 75 F. Keeping a fan running in the area to circulate the air will
also help, because mold loves stagnant air.

Good luck and please don't hesitate to call me. This is not an easy or
pleasant job, and the results can be futile if you are not careful, and
especially if you can't control the environment the books live in.
Another good resource person for you is Sandy Nyberg at SOLINET who wrote
the book on mold called "Invasion of the Giant Spore".  She is at
404-892-0943 and we get much of our information from her.

Ann Frellsen                                    Phone: 404-727-0307
Preservation Office                               Fax: 404-727-0053
Emory University Libraries       Internet: libavf@unix.cc.emory.edu
Atlanta, GA

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