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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
078. (Collection Care) Preservation and conservation of Pablo Neruda Collection: intrinsic and environmental considerations

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The " Neruda Collection " belonging to the Central Archive Andres Bello of the University of Chile, is a personal collection of the Literature Nobel Prize Ricardo Neftali Reyes, known as Pablo Neruda (1904-1973). The donation to the University of Chile was made while he was alive and was declared a historical monument by the National Monuments Council of Chile in 2009. According to its materiality, the collection has been divided into: Bibliographic Section (4,961 volumes of books), Malacological Section (7,784 conch shells specimens), Hemerographic Section (263 magazine titles), and a Sound Section (155 recordings). The topics covered in the literature section are from the countries where he served as ambassador (China, Mexico and France, etc.), works of Latin American poets from the colonial and republican period, natural history books and dedicated books. The mollusks were collected from Chile, Latin America, Asia and Oceania. The magazines reflect Neruda's political interests and social activity. Finally, the sound section represents his personal musical preferences. The Neruda Collection has always been a priority. We began working with the bibliographic section of the collection and a conservation survey was carried out on the material: number of copies, oxidation state, tears, microbiological contamination and insects, among others. In a second stage, restoration treatments were completed, with particular emphasis on books contaminated with fungi and books with specific deterioration processes. In the preservation process a number of fungal infections were detected in the room housing the collection in the Central Archive Andres Bello, as well as in the conservation / restoration laboratory of the Archive. One of the most effective methods for the conservation of large holdings, as this collection, is the environmental control on the different deposits. It is the most effective from the point of view of economics and the conservation of the documents. Microorganisms do not proliferate when the air is moving and low relative humidity and temperature are constant. Both temperature (T °> 20 ° C) and relative humidity (% RH> 60%) foster all deterioration reactions, causing fungal growth and pest proliferation. Based on these criteria we evaluated the fungal diversity present in the Bibliographic Section and the degree of biological degradation of all the books. In addition, environmental temperature (T ° C) and Relative Humidity (%) were recorded and the environmental bioburden in the room housing the Bibliographic and Malacological collections was measured. Environmental monitoring has been proposed as the best strategy for preservation and conservation of collections and museums. The comprehensive study of the collection and environment provides the best solution in Conservation Plans and restoration of historical and material of heritage value.

avatar for Yerko Andrés Quitral

Yerko Andrés Quitral

Research Associate, Biological deterioration, University of Chile
Biological Researcher in deterioration of works of art and paper, applied biology to the conservation of cultural and patrimonial goods with emphasis in studies of environments and development of containment plans in adverse conditions for the cultural heritage. Development of new... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower