Registration - Basics of Chemistry for Books and Graphic Documents Conservators - Professional Development Workshop - Gatineau Preservation Centre - Library and Archives Canada
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Home > Preservation


Professional Development Workshop
Gatineau, Quebec
October 18 - 22, 2004


A course on chemistry basics for books and graphic documents conservators, organized by the Books and Records Laboratory of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will be held at the Gatineau Preservation Centre from October 18 to 24, 2004.

This training course will be given by Léon-Bavi Vilmont, chemist at the Centre de Recherches sur la Conservation des Documents Graphiques (CRCDG), Paris, France and intervener in training sessions for conservators at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

The program will be divided into two parts, theoretical and practical. Below is the proposed agenda:

Monday morning
  • Introduction
  • Structure of materials :
    definition : atoms, molecules, polymers, and chemical formula
  • Basics of ionization
Monday afternoon
  • Causes of materials degradation
  • Energy, light and environment
Tuesday morning            PAPER MATERIALS
  • Construction, chemical composition, causes of degradation
Tuesday afternoon         PAPER MATERIALS
  • Recognition tests for paper, surface sizing
  • Measuring acidity content of paper
  • Construction, chemical composition, causes of degradation
  • Collagen detection tests, detection of tannins
  • Leather recovery temperature
  • Visit to the Gatineau Preservation Centre
  • Broad groups: natural polymers, synthetic polymers
  • Features: glass transition, fusion
  • Degradation
Thursday morning        WATER
  • Structure, properties, pH notion
  • Aqueous solutions: dissolution, concentration (ponderal, basics of molarity)
Thursday afternoon      SOLVENTS
  • Definition and generalities: solvents nomenclature
  • Solvent power: solubility, solubility parameters, solubility triangle
  • Volatility: definitions and generalities, volatility of solvent mixture
  • Viscosity
  • Health and safety : flammability, flash points, explosion risks, toxicity
Friday morning             MANUAL AND MASS TREATMENTS
  • Main techniques and their principles (cleaning, deacidification, disinfection, drying)
Friday afternoon           MATERIALS ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES
  • Spot testing: interest and limits
  • Physicochemical analysis techniques: UV visible spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, chromatography (thin-layer, liquid phase, gaseous phase), mass spectrometry.



The workshop is geared towards books and paper conservators. The objective of the course is to introduce the participants to the basics of chemistry and to the understanding of some of its mechanisms (condition of materials, degradation, analysis techniques…) : it is a basic course.

The 5-day workshop will be given in French.
The organizers reserve the right to cancel the course one month before its delivery if the number of registered participants is insufficient and to alter the program if warranted.

The number of participants has been set at 15 persons.

The registration fee is $650 CDN (Cheque payable to the Receiver General for Canada). It includes refreshments, lunches, course material and manual and all applicable taxes.


Interested individuals must send their registration form before July 23, 2004. 
Interested individuals will be kept up to date as to the outcome of their request before July 31, 2004.
Please be advised that in case of refusal (because of number of requests) your application will be retained and reconsidered in the event of a cancellation.

The registration fees must be paid before August 31, 2004 in order to secure attendance.

Please forward your registration form by mail, fax or e-mail to 
Sylvie Bompis

Book and Paper Conservator 
Library and Archives Canada  -  Gatineau Preservation Centre
625 boul. du Carrefour
Gatineau, Quebec K1N 0N4 Canada
Phone: (819) 997-7330
Fax: (819) 997-2511