At the beginning of the 19th century the industrialisation of paper production began. This brought about changes in the stages of production and the development of new raw materials and led to a significant reduction in paper quality and increased acidity levels in paper. It was only the introduction of the DIN/ISO Standard 9706, in the 1990s that brought about a gradual, increase in the production of age-resistant papers, which age much more slowly.
The German Literature Archive considers its remit to lie, within the context of the preservation of its holdings and its scientific research mission: it aims, not only to the text but, importantly, to preserve the original. Essential cornerstones of preserving original material are archival storage in a constant climate and the protection of materials from damage resulting from environmental influences. In addition, the material preservation of a manuscript or a printed work on acidic paper is achieved by neutralisation and buffering, while the text itself can be secured and preserved by digitalisation. In both cases, procedures for large quantities of materials have been available on the market for several years.
Since 1994, the DLA has been testing the available deacidification processes. This is, because the different combinations of writing instruments and materials contained in the collections of the library and the archive place make different demands and must be taken into account when selecting a suitable process.
Enke Huhsmann, Restorer
Preservation of Holdings Consultant
Telephone +49 (0) 7144 / 848-160
Telefax +49 (0) 7144 / 848-191