Richard, Tom (and others),

A brief reply on a complex subject, below:

>Two chemists I've worked with on this, Benoit Thiebaut who was at the
Natural History Museum in Paris and Ric Bradshaw from IBM both have told
me I'll never get the "pool test kit" that I had hoped when I started
this investigation a while ago.

>While I do not want to discourage Sarah from coming up with it when
other say it's impossible--that's just a challenge for some--here are a
few items to consider...

Richard does an excellent job of describing the scientific methodologies
and difficulties of research into tape and into historic materials.
Generalizability is our Achilles' heel.

While I wasn't promoting the fabled "pool test kit," I do advocate
developing quantitative data that can support and enhance the many years
of hands-on experience collected in this field.  That type of data
supports grant funding, encourages institutional efforts, and creates
commonalities with allied professional fields.

How unfortunate that the Van Zelst paper has not been published.  I
assumed I had been unable to find it on account of my own dismal

Sarah Norris 
Texas State Library and Archives Commission 
phone: (512) 463-5446 
fax: (512) 463-5430 
e-mail: [log in to unmask]