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Paper: An Elegy

Part 2 Project 2015
Joseph Warner
Northumbria University, UK
Over the last 150 years, large parts of the material heritage of the UK has been lost to time, recession, expansion and neglect. Consequently, much of our heritage now solely resides on documentary evidence [photos, drawings, documents] stored within the national archives.

The acidic paper on which this evidence survives is in a constant state of decay. The continual degradation of all wood-pulp paper produced between 1843-1985 threatens the loss of our heritage in its entirety.

The process of Mass De-acidification is an economic approach to stabilising acidic paper through large-scale alkaline treatment. Once-acidic items are neutralised they are projected to remain in usable condition for several centuries, rather than becoming brittle and unusable in only fifty to a hundred years. A proposed facility of this type would be the first of its kind in the UK. The centres primary intention would be to de-acidify collections from the numerous museums, archives and heritage centres across the country.

Joseph Warner

Mr Benjamin Elliott
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