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Grant number: PR-234484-16

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Yale University (New Haven, CT 06510-1703)
Paul Whitmore (Project Director: 06/25/2015 to present)
Rui Chen (Co Project Director: 10/14/2016 to present)

Effects of Relative Humidity Fluctuations on Paper Permanence

A Tier I proposal to examine chemical and physical degradation in paper artifacts as a result of cycling temperature and humidity. This application builds upon a 2001 study by the Yale Aging Diagnostics Lab (ADL) examining the degradation of rag paper when exposed to humidity cycled between 25% and 75% every two hours at room temperature. The proposed second phase study would explore the key factors that determine the magnitude of risk, such as paper composition, humidity range, and cycling speed. Three different types of paper (rag, acidic newsprint, and alkaline book paper) would be studied to assess physical and chemical changes that occur during different environmental conditions. Molecular weight, tensile strength, elasticity, color and moisture content would be assessed to gauge the effects of these fluctuations on each type of paper.

Project fields:
Arts, Other

Research and Development

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$74,650 (approved)
$74,650 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2018