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historical documents and objects will be obtained allowing us to predict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.
Papylum. Anno MMII