Frequently Asked Questions

red bullet How should I store my books?
The ideal temperature for storing books and documents is between 16 - 18 c and 45% - 55% relative humidity (RH. Store books out of direct sunlight and where air can circulate freely. Use archival boxes (acid free) made to fit and protect valuable or damaged books. Store books on flat, smooth shelves. Stand books vertically close together and if possible by size. Use bookends to prevent books collapsing.

red bullet Pest in my book - what should I do?
The presence of silverfish and psocids (booklice) often indicates a humidity problem in a storage area. If pest are noted, the first step should be to inspect collections to determine whether the problem is widespread or isolated. First address the problem by reducing the temperature and humidity in the room.Isolate the affected books by placing them in a tightly sealed plastic bag. If the problem is widespread seek assistance from a pest control company. Fumigation must be performed by professionals under controlled conditions. Keep the environment clean and dusted, and don't store books near food or rubbish, etc.

red bullet Old leather books - should I use leather dressing on them?
Research and experience have shown that leather dressings can have some undesirable side effects. Damaging, disfiguring effects can include discoloration, staining, and stickiness of the leather. If you want to use a leather dressing try to avoid those containing a solvent. For protective handling purposes dust jackets can be made to help prevent dry rotted leather from offsetting onto adjacent books and from further deterioration.

red bullet How should I store my newspapers?
Newspapers are made from low quality wood fiber pulp, which is easily deteriorated, especially when exposed to light. The deterioration can be slowed down by correct storage (right temperature, humidity and out of light). Newspapers should be put in acid-free boxes for protection.

red bullet How should I store my photographs?
Photographs should be stored between 14?-16?C (68?F) and a relative humidity between 30-40% RH, ideally. Lower temperature is advised for contemporary color prints. Photographs should be stored in plastic or paper materials, which are free from sulfur, acids and peroxides.

red bullet Paper leaves that are stuck together - what can I do?
When coated paper gets wet and then begins to dry, the coating on facing pages sticks together. Once this occurs, it generally cannot be reversed. Freezing within about 6 hours, followed by vacuum freeze drying, can be successful in saving this type of material (should be done by a commercial service). If the pages are only partially stuck together, you can try gently to separate the pages. There will be some loss in areas where the pages were stuck.

red bullet How can I remove the musty smell from old books?
A musty smell is most often noted in books that have been exposed to high relative humidity and may have been moldy or mildewed in the past. There are several strategies that may be successful: An odor-absorbing material should be placed in the bottom of the larger can and the book should be placed in a smaller can, that will be placed in the larger can. Materials that absorb odors include baking soda, charcoal briquettes (without lighter fluid), kitty litter, and Zeolites. Use of paper containing Zeolite molecular traps. Known as MicroChamber products. One should place a sheet between the front board and every 100 pages throughout the book.