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Subject: Longterm storage of books

Longterm storage of books

From: Don Gardner <redragon>
Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2002
Sharon Connell <s.a.connell [at] leeds__ac__uk> writes

>I received this from a colleague:
>   "A friend has asked me for advice about packing up for perhaps
>    year-long storage the many hundreds, possibly thousands, of
>    books she and her husband own.

I am a bookseller, not a conservator, but if it were I, I would seek
advice either from the best local professionally affiliated
antiquarian bookseller, or my local library or museum staff. They
may know not merely how, but where best to store the books. They may
be able to offer sources for storage materials. Since they are
locally active their solutions will suit your area better from the
environmental standpoint.

What condition are the books in now? They should be stored clean and
dry. If they are from a humid environment they may need drying
before storage. If any books show signs of fungi or mildew those
should be segregated. Books with highly acidic papers might be
segregated, stored with buffered papers, and wrapped in plastic to
reduce acid migration or outgassing. The greatest threat will be
moisture. Books should be waterproof-wrapped individually, the whole
container should be waterproofed, or both if possible. Newspapers
are highly acidic, generously share their inks and do more harm than
good as wrapping. Perhaps the most valuable books deserve to be
segregated and stored in a more secure place.

Label outside each box, the titles contained within, as much as time
will allow. Boxes should be of a manageable size, so that a full box
shouldn't weigh more than perhaps 25 to 30 pounds. A large chain
bookstore might be a source of good boxes from book publishers. My
strongest point is to consult local professionals. I hope this

Don Gardner

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:61
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 6, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-61-006
Received on Tuesday, 5 March, 2002

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