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Project aims


Project aims

Why does paper degrade?
How to prevent degradation
Paper stability estimation
What is chemiluminescence
CL and the cultural heritage
HE AIM OF PAPYLUM is to study chemiluminescent phenomena, i.e. weak light emission as a result of a chemical reaction, during paper degradation. This way, knowledge of thermal and oxidative degradation pathways of paper-based historical documents and objects will be obtained allowing us to predict rates of degradation and paper stability. Construction of an instrument prototype allowing chemiluminescence measurements in atmosphere of defined humidity and without destruction of documents is the primary project goal. Due to its extreme sensitivity the new chemiluminescence instrument will help us better understand the chemical processes and their rates at conditions close to those of natural ageing. By studying the degradation pathways, and by providing extensive data summed up in a degradation model, we will be able to propose conservation procedures to slow down paper degradation processes. This will lead to an improved preservation of cultural heritage and furthermore, evaluation of degadation rates of originals and of treated objects will enable us to plan future preservation and R&D actions.

Old Books on the Shelves

Hundreds of kilometres of valuable documents worldwide
await better times.


Papylum. Anno MMII