Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

February 16, 1995

Congress Approves Library of Congress Book Preservation Plan

Congress has approved a plan submitted by the Library of Congress to begin using a new book deacidification technology while continuing to evaluate other methods over the next two years. On January 31, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch added its approval to the plan, which had been approved by a House subcommittee on January 23.

The plan calls for the Library to contract with Preservation Technologies Inc. (PTI) of Glenshaw, Pa. to demonstrate the firm's Bookkeeper mass deacidification process and treat up to 72,000 books during the next two years. At the same time, the Library has placed an announcement in the Commerce Business Daily to continue encouraging other companies with competing technologies to come forward, if their process has the potential to meet or exceed the Library's requirements.

The new plan follows an earlier effort by the Library to refine a process that uses diethyl zinc (DEZ) gas to deacidify large quantities of books and, at the same time, evaluate the Bookkeeper process as a promising alternative. The DEZ process was patented by the Library in 1975. Development of this process has been suspended since April 1994. Unlike DEZ, which is a gaseous technology, the Bookkeeper method uses particles of magnesium oxide suspended in a fluid.

Information about the Library's evaluation and testing of both programs is available on the Internet through LC's Gopher. The text of separate reports about the Bookkeeper and DEZ technologies can be accessed by telnetting to "Marvel.loc.gov" and logging in as "Marvel." To locate the two reports on Marvel, select "Libraries and Publishers (Technical Services)", then "Preservation at the Library of Congress," then "Mass Deacidification: Report."

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PR 95-025
2/14/95
ISSN 0731-3527

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