How to preserve and store vintage books / magazines?

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by ssubialdea, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. ssubialdea

    ssubialdea One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    My vintage book and magazine collection is growing and I’m wondering if any of you have any unique ways of preserving and storing books and magazines?

    I try to only buy books with the dust jackets intact but have found that keeping them that way (while reading and traveling with them) can be challenging. The library dust jacket covers would be great.. anyone know if public libraries will sell them?

    The magazines I have no clue about how to keep them nice, any suggestions?
    I still want to be able to access them and read through for the articles.

    Bartenders feel free to move if this is not the right place for this thread ;)
     
  2. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

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  3. Starius

    Starius Practically Family

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  4. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The biggest enemies of old, cheap paper are light and oxygen. Even if you bag them, it's a good idea to store them in a cool, dark place -- and store them in flat stacks rather than on edge. I keep most of mine stacked in a dark closet in my office, on the cool side of the house, and have no problems with deterioration -- but I can get at them if I need them.
     
  5. ssubialdea

    ssubialdea One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    great, thanks for the links and tips everyone! I really hate to see something kept so well over the years suffer from improper storage. thanks again :)
     
  6. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    Same here, and I use acid-free sleeves and I sometimes run a dehumidifier in the summer.
     
  7. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    Will doing this deter the yellowing of pages or is this something we cannot combat?
     
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Yellowing is caused by the action of the acids left in the paper during the manufacturing process, so some yellowing is inevitable, no matter how it's stored. But the yellowing is greatly accelerated by sunlight.

    I have a number of 1937 issues of the New York Daily News that I got more than twenty years ago in their original mailing wrappers -- I was the first person to look at them since they were printed. There was a bit of discoloration, but very little, because the wrappers had protected them from light. Since then they've been stored flat in the dark, and there's still no yellowing.

    Try this experiment. Buy two copies of today's paper, and leave one in the back window of your car for a couple days and put the other in a dark closet. The results will be dramatic.
     
  9. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    17,196
    Location:
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    Thanks for the info LizzieM-.

    I have done just that to artificially age paper! Works like a charm.
     
  10. Starius

    Starius Practically Family

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    Location:
    Neverwhere, Iowa
    Yellowing and paper decay can also be caused by acid in cardboard boxes. So when using backing boards or cardboard storage boxes, make sure they are made of acid free cardboard. (Though not really a problem if the magazines are in polyurethane bags.)
    Never just stack magazines away in a grocery store box, though, convenient as it may be.
     
  11. KittyT

    KittyT I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    When shopping for storage items for magazines, etc, look for the word "archival". That denotes an item that is acid-free and meant for long-term storage and preservation. Many craft stores have archival products in the scrapbooking section.
     
  12. ssubialdea

    ssubialdea One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    more great tips! thanks, and now that I'm reading through and everyone's mentioning acid-free / archival stuff I'm wondering if there's anything in my guy's frame shop I can use. He does museum quality framing and even has special glass and plex that blocks out the sun.

    Anyone tried these?
    http://www.wdrake.com/walterdrake/S...ProductID=1019201&SourceCode=15270830&Affid=1

    Probably not the best for preservation, but it would be handy for my craft magazines. I seem to remember a "how to make a magazine binder" article in one of my old magazines. I should try and dig that up.

    I also stumbled upon www.thebookdr.com who happens to be about 10 minutes from my house. How funny.
    Apparently they have classes, supplies and do restoration of books. Yay!
     
  13. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Mildew

    How about mildew? I have a lot of paper material, books, letters, that were left in damp places. Some are badly mildewed. What is the best way to repair damage done by mildew? I saw somewhere that freezing kills the microbes that cause it, but how to fix discoloration, etc?
     
  14. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    I once asked an antiquarian bookseller this question. He told me that he discards moldy/mildewy books because the spores can actually contaminate the other books!

    If it isn't too bad, I place the book, mag, etc outside (on a dry sunny day) and air it out. Sometimes this helps.

    I have also read about freezing a book but never tried it.
     
  15. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    I have a 1944 Encyclopedia Britannica that my grandmother won on the Information Please radio show by stumping the panel. It was a very esoteric Shakespeare question. It got left in a basement after my mom died and the next time I looked several volumes were badly damaged, but mainly just the covers. I hate to toss it. I grew up with that encyclopedia in my lap.
     
  16. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,015
    Location:
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    Oh no, I wouldn't discard that either! But maybe keep it separated from your other books if you can smell the mold or mildew.
     
  17. Sefton

    Sefton Call Me a Cab

    I have a collection of 1930's Esquire magazines and several have that "moldy" smell. Not too strong but there. I now keep all of the issues in acid free bags with backing boards. Some sites sell clear plastic magazine covers that have an antibacterial something or other that will,they claim,keep spores and other nasties from growing. Haven't tried them because they don't make them big enough for my Esquires. I had to throw out two rather nice 1950s Esquires because of the mold they had. I tried sunlight,fresh air. Little good. I even placed the pages between sheets of paper and ironed them hoping that the dry heat would kill the mold. This doesn't work and may make you sick so I recommend you don't try it.
     
  18. PA Dancer

    PA Dancer A-List Customer

    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    North East Pennsylvania
    I've read a few tips for getting mold smells out of books.

    One was the sunlight.
    I talked to a librarian who helped to restore a flooded library and she said immediatly after the flood, everything went into a freezer until they could tend to each book.

    Next she said hot sun. Leave the books faned opened and let them bake in the sun.

    I have read tips about putting books in a bag with kitty litter, or cedar chips.

    In home restoration the only thing I know to kill mold is bleach.

    What I have done for a few of my books is Clorox Clean-up on a wet rag to do the covers, dust jackets, and bindings then fan them open and let them air out.

    If you are dealing with severe mold where it's green or spores are growing, you have to do your cleaning outside. Use a mask.
    Let them bake in the sun, and vacuum the mold off.
    These types of books I throw away. It's not worth it to risk my health.

    I have found a lot of information by "googling" removing mold on books.
     
  19. pretty faythe

    pretty faythe One Too Many

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    1,820
    Location:
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    Also, your not supposed to keep old books upright or verticle like most books are at librarys or book stores, its to hard on the the spines, especially on old books. And oh how that annoys me when I see this when I am at thrift stores in their collectors books side. They go through the motions to put the books into the special bags or sleaves, etc, but they have all these glorious books standing up verticle instead of laying down to keep the preasure off of the spine. :rage:
     
  20. Kishtu

    Kishtu Practically Family

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Truro, UK
    How do you deal with stuck-together pages?

    I ask specifically because I bought a book by my all-time favourite author which had been kept outside :eek: and yes, it's gone rather mouldy, but also the binding has swollen in the damp and some of the illustrated plates are stuck together.

    It would upset me to have to throw it away - I have another copy for reading - but is it salvageable, or is it toast?
     

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