Letter Re: The Information Snowball

Mr. Rawles,
Thank you for your blog site. Sorry to add to the “snowball” burden but when building a library make sure the paper used is not acid-based or in a few years it will all turn to dust. Use alkaline paper or “Archival” paper only. This will make the information available for many generations. See the Wikipedia article discussing the matter.

Numerous companies sell their alkaline and archival paper on-line and it is available in larger office stores. Also a chemical test pen is available that will test whether a given sheet of paper is acid or alkaline is available.

I have no connection with any manufacturer or seller of these items. Given the invasion of chinese counterfeit products it might be prudent to use this pen to check papers that purport to be alkaline/archival, just to be sure.

Also. If the papers are to be stored in plastic protectors make sure the plastic is polypropylene. Some plastics emit chemicals that break down paper fibers quickly, leaving nothing but fragments after a few years. The basic rule is if you can smell it, it will destroy the paper. Polypropylene is odorless and harmless to paper. Also many office supply stores sell archival-quality protectors labeled as such.

And Mr. Rawles. The prepper movement is maturing. Instead of people attempting to gather all this information individually and on their own you should start a prepper version of Wikipedia or something similar and make it available for download. It is always the details that kill, and it would be a shame for so many otherwise survivable individuals to fail simply because they are missing a small bit of information that could have been available. – GMAN