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Jesse Handel's Bachelor of Science was verified on or about August 2009 by a leading third-party verification service.View the Terms of Service section on verifications
This question is for Jesse Hansel.
An associate librarian, paper conservator answered, also freezing may be an option worth looking into. (Frost free freezer and vapor proof packaging but access will need advance planning.)
A lady Conservator answered I am not convinced that freezing or vacuum sealing would help in the long term. Freezing would certainly retard degradation of the chemicals present, but you would be risking damage to the footwear every time you thawed and re-froze it. Vacuum sealing would tend to extract the very volatile chemicals you wish to preserve.
You mentioned you need to be careful that you don't freeze your materials to the point where the smell isn't in the vapor until you thaw it out, because multiple freezing and thaw cycles will be a definite problem.
How would you prepare the ladies footwear for freezing or for the coldest temperature close to freezing that will help maintain the odors (foot scent) of the objects for long term?
This freezing or very cold temperature will be for Occasional access to the collection.
Which vapor proof packaging is the paper conservator referring to? I don't know what he means by vapor proof packaging.
Only Jesse to answer. Thank you!
This question is for Jesse Handel An associate librarian answered this is indeed a dilemma! I cannot think of any ideal scenario that suites both your needs of long term storage while maintaining the odors. If the items can't breathe then they will be locked into a micro climate and the off gassing will accelerate deterioration. Anoxic storage (oxygen free) may be what you are looking for but I have no idea if the odors will persist and survive.
Is vacuum sealed exactly the same as oxygen free storage?
A lady Conservator answered seems like you are invested in doing whatever it takes to preserve these shoes just as they are. If that is the case, I would suggest putting each shoe in an archival shoe box with oxygen absorbers (do not let the absorbers touch the shoes), then wrap each box in barrier film and heat seal the film. The colder the storage facility, the better, especially since the oxygen absorbers will release a small amount of heat initially. There are various ways to go about something similar, but this would be the best way to preserve the exact condition of something you will not need to be accessing frequently. Another lady said you may want to try following her suggestion of putting the shoes into an archival shoe box (polypropylene) and then sealing the box with a barrier film such as Marvelseal. You would however, need to minimize the number of times that you open and reseal each package in order to maintain the environment.
Will this oxygen free storage method be a good option for occasional access to the collection and at allowing the odors to persist and survive for long term?
Only Jesse to answer.
This question is for Jesse Handel One person wrote I cannot provide any sure-fire advice to preserve these items in a safe and archival manner. I would suggest you contact professionals in the area of fabric storage- most dry cleaners will store furs and winter clothes during the summer. They must have some cold storage or nitrogen gas storage or some other means to slow bacterial growth (bacteria from the skin generate the body odor we can smell). A Textile Chemist answered from my experience, the educational background of a dry cleaner, leather shop or shoe repair shop does not include chemistry or physics. They are not in the business of long-term storage either. Who are the people or places I should contact that must have some cold storage or nitrogen gas storage or some other means to slow bacterial growth?
Please only Jesse to answer. If Jesse is not available then the only other expert I will choose to help me is Joan, internet researcher.
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