Scott Semans writes:
I'm looking for an effective way to store books under adverse conditions, where access to the book (reading) is not a concern. My book inventory in this wet climate is
subject to dampness from multiple sources, as well as occasional freezing temperatures. Controlling the atmosphere and temperature are possible, but only to a degree, and I've
found I need a backup. The bags made for comics and magazines are a partial solution, but once breached, they hold in water and make the situation worse. I'm thinking in terms
of the shrink wrapping publishers do, but with thicker, more temperature-resistant film. Wondering if anyone has tried this, or has a different suggestion.
Great question, and a topic we haven't discussed in some time. What do our numismatic bibliophiles recommend? Here's an article I came across this week, but it's
very high-level and doesn't go into the specific question Scott raised. -Editor
Climate and Humidity
Vintage editions are especially susceptible to minor fluctuations in temperature and humidity. To deter from disintegration or flaws in the paper or binding, keep
temperatures between 65–70 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity levels at a steady 30–50 percent. Rooms with temperature and humidity controls are commonly used in libraries to store
older artifacts, and can help preserve their condition for a longer period of time. But if you are looking to store these items in your own home, look for rooms with minimal
windows and exposure to the natural elements, and invest in a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels at a low and constant level.
Dry heat can also become an issue, causing leather covers to crack and book glue to dry out, changing the form and appearance of rare novels. To help prevent these issues and
monitor the humidity levels in your home, a hygrometer can be used to ensure ideal conditions that will keep your books in prime condition for years to come.
To read the complete article, see:
How to Store, Preserve, and Care for Rare Books
Wayne Homren, Editor
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