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What Is the Best Way to Store Old Books and Manuscripts?

Properly storing old books and manuscripts helps keep them in their current condition and maintain their value. Begin by choosing the proper environment for the books and manuscripts, keeping them out of direct sunlight and away from moisture. The temperature should be steady, preferably somewhere between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit with good airflow to prevent mold. If you are going to display them on shelves, choose non-wood shelving such as glass, as wood can damage the paper and book bindings if it is not properly sealed with the right finish. Make sure to adequately space the books and manuscripts in storage to prevent overcrowding. Bookends work well for keeping texts upright and spaced, although very tall books and manuscripts should lay flat to protect to their bindings. Ideally, you should keep old books and manuscripts in protective boxes or sleeves made from acid-free materials.

Should You Repair Damaged Antique Books?

If an antique book is torn or damaged, then do not use glue or tape on the pages and bindings, as this can devalue it. You should also avoid treating leather bindings with oil; instead, consult a professional restoration technician.

What Is Deacidification Treatment in Relation to Antique Books?

Deacidification treatment extends the life of books made with acidic paper, which typically come from the late 19th through the early mid-20th century. Made from untreated wood pulp, the pages in these books release acids that yellow and deteriorate the paper. To halt this deterioration, experts employ deacidification treatments. There are spray-on products you can use at home, although taking antique books to a professional is also a good idea.