, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 2859–2897 | Cite as

Paper conservation methods: a literature review

Review Paper


The main paper conservation methods are presented, classified in the following categories: preparation of the intervention, disinfestation and disinfection/sterilization, surface/dry cleaning, wet cleaning, chemical stabilization, paper repairs, consolidation and strengthening. Treatment documentation is also discussed. The targets, the historical aspects, the general principles, the materials and equipment, the acceptance and criticism pertaining to each method are briefly reviewed, and the most important research for their evaluation is presented. Several paper stabilization strategies, such as deacidification and iron gall ink stabilization, applicable to paper are elucidated. Specific consolidation and strengthening methods for paper, such as lamination and paper splitting are also discussed. The review mainly focuses on the established methods, but experimental, abandoned or insufficiently documented methods are also included. Shortcomings and limitations of several methods were found in the literature, concerning health issues, limited effectiveness, adverse side-effects on the treated artefacts and restricted applicability.


Paper conservation Disinfestation Chemical stabilization Deacidification Paper repairs Consolidation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Library Science and Information SystemsTechnological Educational Institute of Athens [TEI-A]AthensGreece

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