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A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Freeze-dried books

Who knew?

One technique for salvaging water damaged books is to freeze the books solid and then remove the water through a highly controlled vacuum freeze-drying method. During the process, the water in the damaged material sublimates--passes from a frozen solid state to vapor (gaseous state), without reentering the liquid state. This way you avoid issues such as inks running or book boards and pages warping and wrinkling. There is a whole industry of manufacturers (such as Freezedry Specialties, Inc., who also happen to recommend their services to taxidermists) dedicated to providing libraries, museums, and other collectors with this futuristic disaster relief technique. Interesting things can be learned from textbooks sometimes.

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