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Subject: Packing wet books

Packing wet books

From: Gregor Trinkaus-Randall <gregor.trinkaus-randall>
Date: Wednesday, May 12, 1999
Gillian Boal <gboal [at] library__berkeley__edu> writes

Quick and Easy packing for freezing? We have just had a medium flood
>in our Public Health Library. We had to pack and freeze dry 1200
>As a result, our current idea is to place a piece of freezer paper,
>precut to size of box, into the bottom of our boxes and to
>interleave paper, precut to size of box, between the books.
>All with the intent of preventing the books from sticking together.

I will address this question in two parts.

First, I commend you to have the foresight to deal with precut
freezer paper for the future.  However, I am not sure that I would
do so for a couple of reasons.  Precut paper can be expensive and
freezer paper even more so than other. In addition it can take up
more storage space than you might otherwise have available. Although
freezer paper is preferred, unprinted newsprint has also worked well
in the situations in which I have been involved.  Spending the time
and effort to precut the paper is really unnecessary.  It can be
torn/cut on site by a couple of people who can usually keep ahead of
the packers with a little head start.  Make sure, however, that if
you use freezer paper that you pack the materials with the shiny
side towards the book.

Secondly, packing the boxes should be done spine down or vertically
and only in one layer.  It is my understanding that with either
cardboard (make sure that the boxes are solid) or Rescubes, most
firms do not unbox the materials.  They are vacuum freeze dried in
the boxes the way they are packed.  This means that the packing is
extremely important as the other is much more expensive. Planning
how you will respond, pack, and ship the materials and training your
staff can make all the difference in the world.  Having recently
dealt with a situation where thousands of volumes were soaked, the
packing was a nightmare because no one knew how to do it and what
procedures to follow.  As a consequence, this was one of the
problems that delayed action in some areas.

I also hope that everything that was wet this last time has been
frozen. I hope that this helpsm

Gregor Trinkaus-Randall
Preservation Specialist
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
648 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215-2070
617-267-9400, 800-952-7403 (in-state)
Fax: 617-421-9833

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:87
                  Distributed: Thursday, May 13, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-87-011
Received on Wednesday, 12 May, 1999

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