Abbey Publications founder Ellen McCrady developed the Abbey pH pen 15 years ago as a simple tool to spot-test books and other dry paper materials for acidity. She chose chlorophenol red as the pH indicator agent, in part because it provides a consistent color response to a given pH level regardless of the agent’s concentration in the pen nib.
Preservation Technologies has partnered with Abbey Publications founder Ellen McCrady to continue production of the Abbey pH Pen. We represent preservation technologies to bring their valuable products to archivists in South Asia.
To use the Abbey pH Pen, a small line has to be drawn or spot in an unobtrusive area of the material being tested. If the mark is pale yellow, the paper is acidic. If the mark is pale purple, the paper is neutral or alkaline. On papers of intermediate acidity, the mark will turn a tan color that combines yellow and purple. The light shade of the line helps make the spot-test as inconspicuous as possible.