Fluid Preservation: A Comprehensive Reference

Fluid Preservation: A Comprehensive Reference


By (author) John Simmons

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  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Format: Hardback | 364 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 231mm x 25mm | 658g
  • Publication date: 15 May 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 1442229659
  • ISBN 13: 9781442229655
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 502,554

Product description

Fluid preservation refers to specimens and objects that are preserved in fluids, most commonly alcohol and formaldehyde, but also glycerin, mineral oil, acids, glycols, and a host of other chemicals that protect the specimen from deterioration. Some of the oldest natural history specimens in the world are preserved in fluid. Despite the fact that fluid preservation has been practiced for more than 350 years, this is the only handbook that summarize all that is known about this complex and often confusing topic. Fluid Preservation: A Comprehensive Reference covers the history and techniques of fluid preservation and how to care for fluid preserved specimens in collections. *More than 900 references on fluid preservation were reviewed for this project. *An historical survey of preservative recipes provides for guidance for museums with older collections (many fluid preservatives contain hazardous chemicals). *Current standards and best practices for collection care and management are presented. *Current and controversial topics (e.g., the preservation of DNA, alternatives to alcohol and formaldehyde) are discussed and fully referenced. *Health and safety issues involved with caring for fluid preserved collections are discussed. *The final chapter addresses fluid preserved specimens as cultural products and their use in art, literature, film, and song. Although most fluid-preserved specimens are found in natural history and medical museums, it is not at all uncommon to find them in art museums, history museums, and science centers. In addition to animals, plants, and anatomical specimens, fluid preserved collections include some minerals and fossils and many other objects. Fluid Preservation is an essential reference for: *Natural history curators *Natural history collections managers *Conservators *Medical and anatomical museum collections managers and curators *Art and history museum staff who have fluid preserved specimens and objects in their care (e.g., works by Damien Hirst) *Private collectors *Researchers using museum collections as sources of DNA, isotopes, etc. *Health and safety professionals *Exhibit planners and designers *Museum facilities planners and managers *People interested in the history of science *People interested in the history of natural history museums *Museum studies students

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Author information

John Simmons holds a B.A. in systematic ecology and an M.A. in Historical Administration and Museum Studies. In 1986, he completed the Collections Care Pilot Training Program (funded by the Bay Foundation) to become one of 30 people in the country to receive specialized training in conservation and collections care. He has spent a total of 30 years as collections manager in two of the largest collections of fluid preserved specimens in the United States (the California Academy of Sciences and the Biodiversity Research Center at the University of Kansas). He has published extensively on collections care topics and conducted seminars, workshops, and training programs in the US, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe on the care of natural history collections (his previous publications include the AAM standard reference on collections management policies).

Review quote

This examination of the science behind the fluid preservation of biological specimens is essential reading for curators and conservators alike. There is a wealth of information in this exceptionally well-researched book which is worth buying for the comprehensive reference list alone! John Simmons has also collected anecdotes and misconceptions about fluid preservation which makes his book a suitable read for those outside the small world of museum professionals. -- Simon Moore, Conservator of Natural Sciences and Cutlery Historian, The National Trust, United Kingdom Filled with practical references and recommendations and a bibliography embracing sources from the very beginning of fluid preservation in the early 17th century to DNA preservation, this book summarizes the written knowledge on fixation, preservation, secondary interactions of preservatives and gives valuable information on collection care by exploring available literature far beyond Anglo-American sources. It is more than just a comprehensive reference, it embodies our knowledge of fluid preservation and conveys the most comprehensive practical advice that can be offered, from an author truly devoted to collection care. -- Dirk Neumann, Ichthyology section, The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, Munich, Germany John Simmons has created the ultimate reference on the science and mythology of fluid preservation. Thoroughly researched and written with wry wit, it is an indispensable and highly readable resource. -- Catharine Hawks, adjunct faculty, Museum Studies Program, The George Washington University

Table of contents

Introduction Acknowledgements Part I. Fluid Preservation Techniques and Collections Chapter 1. History of Fluid Preservation Fluid Preservation in the Ancient World History of Ethyl Alcohol Origin of the Name Alcohol Glass Containers The Discovery of Preservation of Specimens in Ethyl Alcohol Early Instructions for Preserving Specimens in Fluids Later Instructions for Preserving Specimens in Fluids Fluid Preserved Collections Other Fluid Preservatives Summary Chapter 2. Fixation Fixation Formaldehyde Origin of the Names Formaldehyde, Formol, and Formalin Commercial Formaldehyde Formaldehyde as a Fixative and Preservative Fixative pH Range Narcotization Fixatives for Botanical Specimens Temperature, Time, and Rates of Penetration of Fixatives The Penetration-Fixation Paradox Lipids and Fixation Formaldehyde and Field Work Paraformaldehyde Post-Formaldehyde Fixation Washing Unwanted Effects of Formaldehyde Gluteraldehyde Aldehyde Safety Alternative and Proprietary Fixatives Chapter 3. Preservation Preservation without Fixation Freezing Transfer between Fluids Preservative Quality Old Fluid Preservatives Botanical Use of Fluid Preservation Glycerin Isopropyl Alcohol Fluid Preservation for DNA Extraction Evaporation Clearing and Staining Anatomical and Histological Fluid Preparations Mounting Specimens Inside Containers Glycol, Phenol, and Phenoxetol as Preservatives Novec Fluid Mineral Oil Universal Fixatives Criteria for Evaluating Alternative Fixative and Preservative Fluids Chapter 4. Effects of Fixatives and Preservatives on Specimens Changes in Body Dimensions and Biomass Changes in Color Solvent Extraction in Fixatives and Preservatives Chapter 5. Managing Fluid Preserved Collections Identification of Fluid Preservatives Checking Fluid Concentration Re-Use of Old Alcohol pH of Preservative Solutions Preparing Fixatives and Preservatives Containers and Seals Alternatives to Glass Containers Labeling The Storage Environment Topping Up and Replacing Preservatives Why do Closures Fail? Bacterial and Fungal Growth in Fluid Collections-Detection and Remediation Rehydration of Fluid Preserved Specimens Moving Collections Exhibition of Fluid Preserved Specimens Dealing with Old Containers and Old Specimens Repair of Damaged Fluid Preserved Specimens Health and Safety Fire Prevention Formaldehyde Safety Chapter 6. Fluid Preserved Collections as Cultural Patrimony Why Preserve Specimens in Fluid? The Fluid Preserved Human Fond Memories of Fluid Preservation Fluid Preservation in Visual Art Fluid Preservation in Literature Fluid Preservation in Film Fluid Preservation in Popular Culture The Aesthetics of Fluid Preservation Part II. Literature in this Field Chapter 7. Literature Cited. Chapter 8. Literature Reviewed but Not Cited Part III. Reference Tables Table 1. Fluid preservation techniques. Table 2. Timeline of milestones in published fluid preservation techniques. Table 3. Tissue matrix types. Table 4. Proprietary fixatives (based on manufacturer's MSDS, advertisements, and published analyses). Table 5. Narcotizing agents. Table 6. Disinfectant mechanisms of some preservatives (based in part on Volk and Wheeler 1984). Table 7. Summary of factors that affect the long-term usefulness of fluid preserved specimens (after Simmons 2002). Table 8. Timeline of the known introduction of chemicals in fluid preservation. Table 9. Anatomical fixation and preservation techniques. Table 10. Clearing and staining techniques. Table 11. Disinfectant mechanisms of some preservatives (based in part on van Dam 2003). Table 12. Criteria for identifying alternative preservative fluids (based in part on van Dam 2003). Table 13. Summary of fixative and preservative induced changes in invertebrates. Table 14. Summary of fixative and preservative induced changes in invertebrates by taxonomic group. Table 15. Summary of fixative and preservative induced changes in vertebrates by taxonomic group. Table 16. Summary of fixative and preservative induced changes in vertebrates by taxonomic group. Table 17. Proprietary preservatives (based on manufacturer's MSDS, advertisements, and published analyses). Table 18. Summary of published fluid concentration and pH testing of fluid preserved collections. Table 19. Characteristics of containers for fluid preserved specimens (based on Simmons 2002). Table 20. Oxygen permeablility of container materials. Table 21. Published recommendations for label substrates and inks. Table 22. Rehydration techniques for fluid preserved specimens. Table 23. Treatments and practices that are not recommended for fluid preserved specimens. Appendix Index About the Author