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Chemistry (including Biochemistry)/packing/storage/option for frequent access


Dear Dr. Raymond

You helped me before provide a packing and storage procedure for occasional access to the collection of ladies used footwear.  Occasional
access will account for 80 to 85% of collection.
I will now need to look at a packing and storage procedure for frequent access to the collection, about 15 to 20% of collection.

A Textile Chemist answered the shoes could be stored in sealed polyethylene bags.  Polyethylene has some permeability.  If sealed completely in an airtight package volatile compounds from degradation products could damage the shoes.  It is a balance between trying to retain the smell for as long as possible and the best practices for the long term preservation of the objects.
The smell of your objects will, in time, fade and or be overtaken by other odors.  Light, moisture and air lead to the deterioration of objects.  Storing the shoes in a dark, dry, cool environment is critical to their preservation and the preservation of the smell.

I found at zipper lock bags.  These bags are made from virgin, uncoated polyethylene and are suitable for long term archival storage.  Bags are stocked in two weights, a lightweight 2 mil, and a heavyweight 4 mil, thickness for added protection.
The three largest sizes are 9" x 12", 12" x 15", and 13" x 18".
Correct me if I'm wrong on what I am choosing.  These bags may be a good choice for polyethylene bags that the Textile Chemist is referring to.  It may be a good idea to buy 12 x 15 to store all ladies shoes and 13 x 18 to store all ankle boots.  Going with 4 mil for all bags will provide more protection as shoes and boots are objects that are heavy.
I would store only one shoe or ankle boot per bag so as to preserve their unique properties.  One other Textile Chemist said if I stored many shoes in one storage box, the scents would mix in from the other pairs.  I definitely would not want that as I want to preserve the original odor of each shoe or boot for as long as possible.

The Textile Chemist who suggested polyethylene bags did not mention about removing the air form inside of each bag.  Once I place each shoe or pair inside of polyethylene bag, how much air will I need to remove from inside of zip lock polyethylene bag using a drinking straw, or when will I know to stop sipping from the straw so I will achieve a balance between trying to preserve the smell for as long as possible and the best practices for the long term preservation of the objects.
I think it would be better to store only one shoe or ankle boot inside each LDPE bag as there will be no chance of one object rubbing against one other.
After each object is placed inside each bag with some air removed from inside of bag and sealed closed, I'm not sure if you recommend placing each bag inside a #2HDPE plastic storage tote to provide physical protection, protection against sunlight and humidity changes.
Thank you!

Apologies for the delay.

Your selection of bag sizes is just fine.  Use sizes appropriate to the shoe, but otherwise things should go well. A single bag will be sufficient as (statistically) the bleed through will be negligible and the bleed back in of odors even less so.  

Do use the tubs.  They will minimized disturbances AND decrease the overall air to which the bags are exposed... again not a major issue, but still something that can be controlled.  

Chemistry (including Biochemistry)

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Dr. Jeffery Raymond


Materials chemistry. Materials science. Spectroscopy. Polymer science. Physical Chemistry. General Physics. Technical writing. General Applied Mathematics. Nanomaterials. Optoelectronic Behavior. Science Policy.


Teaching: General Inorganic Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, Physical Chemistry I, Polymeric Materials, General Physics I, Calculus I & II
My prior experience includes the United States Army and three years as a development chemist in industry. Currently I am the Assistant Director of the Laboratory for Synthetic Biological Interactions. All told, 13 years of experience in research, development and science education.

Texas A&M University, American Chemical Society, POLY-ACS, SPIE

Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nanoletters, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Ultramicroscopy Proceedings of SPIE, Proceedings of MRS, Polymer News, Chemical and Engineering News, Nano Letters, Small,, Angewandte

PhD Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Photophysics/Nanomaterials Concentration), MS Materials Science, BS Chemistry and Physics, Graduate Certificate in Science Policy, AAS Chemical Technology, AAS Engineering Technology

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