Linen-base maps, charts etc.

Dear STAMAsters:

I've posted this question to several lists, so please excuse any dups
you may receive.
The Field Records Library collection includes many maps, charts, etc. 
drawn or copied onto a linen-base material (blue).  Many of these 
items have a smell to them, even though the material shows no 
evidence of mold, discoloration, or other visible deterioration.  
It's not a musty/dusty/moldy smell, but rather a sharp (does that 
make sense?) smell.  A colleague has suggested that this linen-base 
material was treated with a parrafin-based product, and that the 
smell occurs when that product begins to deterioriate.
Anyone out there have experience with this linen-base material and/or 
know the source of this odor?  With many thanks,

Carol A. Edwards, Head
U.S. Geological Survey Field Records Library
MS 914, Box 25046, Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046 
phone: 303/236-1005
fax: 303/236-0015
email: cedwards@usgs.gov
    or  cedwards@denlib.cr.usgs.gov

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