May 22, 2022

The Library of Congress Awards $5.5 Million Contract For “Mass Deacidification of Library Collection”

The $5.5 million contract was awarded to Preservation Technologies based in Cranberry Township, PA.

From the Award Announcement:

The Library of Congress has awarded a one-year IDIQ contract for Mass Deacidifcation services. This was publically competed on the open market.


The IDIQ ceiling is $5,500,000 and the minimum obligation value is $1,000,000. The Library has placed an initial order for $2,499,986.01.

The solicitation was first published on February 1, 2021.

From the Statement of Work:

The Library of Congress (Library) requires contractor support to deacidify volumes of Library materials found to be on acidic paper. In the latter half of the 19th century, acidic wood pulp was substituted for cotton rags in the manufacture of paper. The introduction of wood pulp and other chemicals in the manufacturing process resulted in printed volumes and other paper based sheets that were produced on acidic paper stock. Acidity in paper accelerates its natural deterioration, with the pages of bound volumes becoming so embrittled over time that they break during use. The objective of deacidification is the neutralization of the acid components of paper. In conjunction with a mass deacidification program an ongoing quality control (QC) program is also necessary to validate appropriate treatment and assure no process related damage in treated volumes and assessment of health and environmental impacts of deacidification treatment and process.

The Library of Congress has been deacidifying collections on a mass scale for over two decades. Based on a change in US paper industry production reducing acidic levels in newly published materials and steady progress completing treatment for the most at risk collections, it is expected that now only about 10-15% of newly received and materials already held remain vulnerable to inherent acidity, i.e. about 10-15 of every 100 volumes examined will qualify for deacidification treatment.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.