Helping Harvard

In an earlier edition of Contents Solutions, we described a method that your clients could use to buy some time for wet photographs by freezing them until the contents pros could apply special techniques to restore them.

As it happens, Harvard University used that very method to save a massive collection of special books in which dried seeds had been placed, illustrated and annotated. In fact, they had 5,000,000 specimens and a massive number of them were now wet.

The staff put them in a large freezer, then called the contents pros to pack them in dry ice and transport them to be treated with a device that is very much like that used to freeze-dry coffee.

The moisture was “sublimated” (transformed directly from the solid to the gaseous state without becoming a liquid).

The pros saved an irreplaceable treasure when the books and seeds were returned in restored condition.

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