Lecture: A Mold Outbreak in Tblisi, Georgia

Posted on Jan 3, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 1:30 pm

Reading Room, Library of Congress

Reading Room, Library of Congress

Lecture at the Library of Congress (Madison Building, Pickford Theater on the Third Floor)

A Mold Outbreak in Tbilisi, Georgia: Technical and Interpersonal Challenges. Speaker: Randy Silverman, Head of Preservation, University of Utah, Marriott Library. 

Tbilisi State University Library experienced a 15-year mold event that damaged 80,000 rare western books. Blue Shield Georgia’s successful Cultural Emergency Response grant from the Prince Claus Fund (Amsterdam) supported a 10-day onsite assessment of the problem in January 2017. The consultant assembled conservators, the building’s original architect, a preservation architect, and an air conditioning (HVAC) engineer to determine the cause of the bloom in the 1960-period building. Excessive moisture originating from four primary sources was believed responsible for the mold outbreak in four locked rare book storage rooms. A cost-effective protocol to curtail the source water, dry the involved rooms, and clean desiccated mold from the rare books was proposed to the Library and University administrations. Despite ongoing human health risks and the damage to rare books, the University elected to ignore the problem. This presentation will provide a personal view on building conditions that trigger mold blooms, technical options for terminating a large-scale outbreak, and speculation on unseen social conditions that may have prevented the solution’s implementation.

For more information and to register for the live webcast, please visit: http://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/tops/silverman/index.html