Preserving Pearl Harbor Documents
Damage varies from record to record, but dirt—a possible combination of sediment carried by the water and soot from the fire—is quite common. Although the records examined so far do not show direct contact with fire, many have burned areas where the paper was in contact with or adjacent to the post hole fasteners used to add pages to the booklets when needed. Not only did these metal fasteners conduct heat to the documents, but their exposure to the high humidity caused corrosion, resulting in rust.
The photo above shows a record of Robert Niven Frizzell, Seaman 2nd Class, who was killed in action Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor. Record shows burning around post hole fastener and surface dirt. (ARC Series #299693)
Note: This is one in a series of posts on conservation of Pearl Harbor documents.