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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Preserving Books: What cover should I use for this? How do I prevent warping?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11203 points ) April 3rd, 2011

I have some vintage books that have a picture on the cover. Some old books (19th century-early 20th) had a cloth cover and then a color picture was pasted on it. How can I preserve these types of books?

For my regular older dustwrapped books, I use mylar Brodart covers. For my vintage paperbacks, I use the plastic covers that are customized to the size of book. I am not sure what you would use for these older books…except plain mylar? Yes? No? Ideas?

Also, I keep these books on my bookshelf and noticed that they are getting warped. They are kept at room temperature but the books are warping. The covers are bending upward a bit…away from the pages. Any ideas on how to keep them from doing this?

Thank you very much!

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4 Answers

WasCy's avatar

Ideally the materials need to be kept protected from three things:

1. Sunlight
2. Humidity (and much higher humidity or moistness, resulting in mildew or mold)
3. Oxygen in the air

You really need to keep the books in a room with a dehumidifier keeping lower than normal humidity. There’s not much that you can do about the oxygen thing, I think, unless you have archive facilities or can otherwise keep the books under a nitrogen blanket. I’m not sure if the plastic or mylar covers would help in the long run, as you run a risk of having them stick to the covers and cause more damage.

The warping is definitely humidity, though. That’s a much more realistic concern than temperature alone.

augustlan's avatar

Could you wrap them in acid-free paper? As for the warping, I’d try stacking them horizontally, like this.

blueiiznh's avatar

Are you going to display them?
I enjoy collecting old books and here are some considerations I have taken into account.
Acid free paper under what they rest on.
Stand them upright with spine out.
Use a vacumn seal method if possible
Keep out light. Use an archival sleeve. Even placing in a paper bag will help
Do not oil a leather bound cover.
Use some kind of desiccant material.
Link

pshizzle's avatar

Pack them tightly in a sealed storage box from Wal-Mart or Target.

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