I recently completed a box that will contain a rare book. Many rare books are
very fragile (and very valuable) so therefore need special care such as the box
I built. It is made of walnut, felt lined interior and a hand painted oil on
canvas on the top. See picture at:
I would seal the inside of the box with shellac, that seeming to be
the most neutral of any of the finishes. You certainly *don't* want
the box airtight or the book sealed in plastic. Airtight archival
storage requires considerably more work and knowledge than I suspect
any of us here have.
Another poster pointed to a Library of Congress page containing preservation
As a former archivist, if not a preservationish, unsealed wood is the worst
Your book is printed on wartime paper, aka pulp paper, which contains a high
percentage of lignin (wood fibers), which is causes the chemical reaction
breaking down the wood. Lignin contains acids which are the root cause of
decomposition. Exposure to wood accelerates the process.
All paper, except cotton/linen bonds, contains lignins in varying proportions.
For wood pulp based paper good preservation practice dictates, at a minimum,
storage in a ph buffered paper. Try a craft store such as Michaels or AC
Repair of lignin damage is, short of heroic measures involving replacement of
missing material with polymers, impossible, but it is possible to completely
halt further decomposition by de-acidification.
De-acidification for single pages is possible at home using a buffered
solution. For books, especially those with market value, try a professional
de-acidification/archival preservation firm. If you can find one in your area
that does batch-work you're probably looking at $10-20.
Marc (a now-thankfully-retired archivist)
Archival storage recommend
Greetings and Salutations...
On Sat, 06 Mar 2004 17:53:32 GMT, "Bill Orr"
Hum...I am not an expert, but, have dabbled in the area a bit.
If you REALLY want to preserve the book, I would suggest that you read
this article...and seriously consider contacting these folks:
The fact of the matter is that the acids in the paper are like
a slow fire and WILL consume the entire book in time. The folks that
neutralize the acids use processes that stop the problem without
altering the book.
The good news is that if the box is fairly air-tight, it will
go a long way towards keeping the oxygen that helps the burning away
from the book. The bad news is that it is my understanding that wood
is not one of the preferred methods of storage, because of the complex
compounds it outgasses. I would agree with the other poster that
suggested shellac as a sealer on the inside. However, if you could
wrap the book tightly in aluminum foil, that would go a LONG way
towards keeping the bad things away from it.
However, the most important thing to do is get those acids
neutralized. considering that last year a 1930 edition of this
book sold for slightly over $8000 at auction, it would probably
be worth the few hundred dollars that the neutralization might
cost (I have not checked prices...just guessing...)
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