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Emergency Preparedness and Response

Collection Recovery Methods: Items with Soluble Inks and Colorants

Items with Soluble Inks and Colorants include illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, hand-colored illustrations, and watercolor paintings. Examples of soluble inks and colorants include felt-tip pens, colored pens, ballpoint pens, and stamp inks.

For bound items, manuscripts and art on paper that contain items with soluble inks and colorants, please see the sections found on the left toolbar for those materials.

Recovery Priority during the first 24-48 hours

  • Dry the items immediately. (If there are too many sheets to dry within 24 hours, then freeze them). The amount of media that will bleed and run increases with the degree of wetness, time, and contact with other materials.
  • Place freezer or wax paper between book pages and single sheets.
  • Do not use absorbent sheets (e.g. paper towels).
  • Do not over-stress bindings by inserting too many non-absorbent sheets into a book, or by inserting it too deep into the binding.
  • Do not tightly compress books or single sheets.
  • Use extra caution with large objects; wet paper is easily torn. Support with screens or polyester webbing.

Freezing Procedures

  • Follow the specific instructions based on the format or material, found on the left toolbar.

Air Drying Procedures

  • Follow the specific instructions based on the format or material, found on the left toolbar.
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