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Mold as a factor of degradation of library and archive collections


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Šegula, Sunčica. (2016). Mold as a factor of degradation of library and archive collections. BSc thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Information Science. [mentor Barbarić, Ana].

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Molds are microscopic fungi that use organic matter as a source of food. They procreate trough the creation of spores which then become airborne and transfer to the appropriate area where mold can begin to grow. Considering that most of the collections found in libraries and archives are made of organic material (i.e. paper), it is not surprising that they too can become a home for mold. For paper items, the most dangerous molds are those that excretethe cellulose enzymatic complex, which can degrade and destroy cellulose, the main ingredient of paper. Such genera are, for example, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chaetomium andTrichoderma. However, mold will not start to grow if some of the environmental conditions are not met. The conditions for mold growth are appropriate temperature, source of organic matter, limited air circulation and most importantly, sufficient moisture. The monitoring of conditions in the library or archive, as well as overall hygiene, is the best way to prevent mold growth. If an outbreak happens, the infected material should be isolated and cleaned. Due to its harmfulness to humans and low efficacy, fumigation is no longer recomended as a treatment of mold infected materials. Molds can present a serious threat to human health. Mold itself or itsexcretions (which can be mycotoxins) can lead to allergies, skin, nose and eye irritations or even serious lung problems. Personnel handling the infected items should always wear protective equipment, and if possible, a mycologist should be consulted.

Item Type: BSc thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: mold, paper, library, cultural heritage
Subjects: Information sciences > Librarianship
Departments: Department of Information Science
Supervisor: Barbarić, Ana
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2016 09:18
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 09:18

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