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The Vinegar Syndrome

by on Oct 19, 2011

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Most microfilm produced prior to 1980 has a base made of cellulose acetate, which is subject to a special kind of degradation known as the “vinegar syndrome.” As microfilm ages and begins to ...

Most microfilm produced prior to 1980 has a base made of cellulose acetate, which is subject to a special kind of degradation known as the “vinegar syndrome.” As microfilm ages and begins to deteriorate, which is especially affected by heat and humidity, acetic acid is released, further speeding up the deterioration process and resulting in a vinegary smell. As the syndrome develops, microfilm will distort, become brittle, and eventually become unusable as it separates between the emulsion and base layers. The vinegar syndrome is a looming and serious threat to practically all large microfilm collections. This program will provide information on how and why the vinegar syndrome develops in a microfilm collection, how one can test for the syndrome, and what options or solutions are available. The program will also highlight the problems confronting UNC Greensboro, as it deals with an outbreak of vinegar syndrome discovered in September 2010.

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The Vinegar Syndrome The Vinegar Syndrome Presentation Transcript