TIME CAPSULE BURIAL
We have a basic problem with the quality of the paper that Puffins are printed on. This is mechanical newsprint and has a high ph and water content, which means that, left as they are, the books will self-destruct long before the 100 years is up. Professor Acres and his colleagues estimate 20 years as the average life-span of the books, but we are not so sure about this as there are 50 yr-old archive copies at Penguins which have not been preserved at all.
Professor Acres suggested that we might like to choose some of the 150 books, which we particularly want to preserve, and use a variety of conservation methods on them. Suggestions so far were:
1. We should laminate one or two copies with polythene or polythene + lens tissue;
2. We should Xerox one copy on to special paper, and re-bind it.
I gather that there are several more methods we could use, but it all depends on cost and the amount of time available.
The bulk of the books should be packed tightly and shrink-wrapped. (We can do this at Harmondsworth).
Suggestions for the burial were that the hole should be brick-lined, and have a layer of heavy-duty polythene under a layer of concrete. (Rather like a damp-proof course in a house). If we want to bury everything in a trunk, this should be stainless steel.
Apparently microfilm, as it is basically geletin, hasn't a hope of surviving.
They suggested that we might be able to get the special paper for the Xerox and the lamination tissue (both rather expensive) free, or at a reduced price, if we approach the suppliers and see whether they would be interested in participating with the experiment.
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