exit holes

Adult female borer beetles lay eggs within susceptible timbers; books and stacked paper may also provide a suitable habitat. The eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on the starch content of the wood and create networks of tunnels. When fully grown, the larvae pupates to become an adult beetle, finally emerging through a hole made

exit holes2020-03-18T11:17:46+11:00


Where surfaces have been partially eaten by insects such as silverfish and booklice. Most frequently found on paper-based items such as labels, photographs and sized papers.



Shredding occurs primarily in late nineteenth and early twentieth century silk fabrics that were "weighted" with metallic salts to make the fabric feel more luxurious. The metallic salts catalyse chemical deterioration, making the fabric extremely brittle and prone to crumbling. Also called "shattered" silk. The term "shredded" may also be used to describe fabrics that



Where colour has been applied over the original surface to disguise damage or loss.



Where a plastic sheet or sleeve adheres to the ink or image layer of documents or photographs. Often occurs with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics, as the plasticiser used in PVC acts as a solvent which attracts toners and dyes.  


off-set staining

Staining resulting from direct contact with an acidic material – e.g. printers’ ink on an adjacent page of a book. The pattern of the ink or other staining material may be reproduced exactly (but in mirror-image) on the stained page.     

off-set staining2008-03-16T01:49:25+11:00


The process of a material giving off gaseous matter, through its structure, into the environment. Off-gassing often occurs after fumigation and during the curing of paints and varnishes. Other materials give off vapours as they decay – e.g. cellulose nitrate film. Also called out-gassing.   



Another word for fungi; mould spores can germinate and grow within organic materials to cause staining and structural weakening. May appear as colourful powdery or downy growth on an object’s surface, or as black spots. Click on the titles below to view information about preventing and managing mould outbreaks in collection spaces. Dealing with mould -



Usually implies the transfer of some coloured material to a surface, usually through physical contact – similar to when cars of different colours collide and leave coloured traces on each other. Appears as a streak or smudge; often found in conjunction with scratches.


mat burn

A localised stain, usually on paper, caused by contact with an acidic mat board. The cut edge of the window mat releases a higher quantity of acidic vapours, which discolour the adjacent paper.  

mat burn2020-03-18T13:35:45+11:00
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