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Help Preserving Book Collection
Just can't stay away
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2016/9/1 20:11
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As my Tolkien collection continues to grow I am starting to worry about maintaining my book collection. I've started by reading a couple of articles, including one from Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond posted on this forum. However, I've read conflicting information, so I would like to know your opinion and experience preserving your book collection over several years.

I happen to live in a swamp that's very hot and humid all-year round. However, the AC is almost always ON and indoors temperatures oscillate between 68F-82F (don't know what the RH is indoors, but I imagine not very high because of the AC). My bookcase is made of wood-plastic composite (WPC); I read wood is to be avoided so I want to change this. To keep silverfish and other insects away I place cinnamon sticks on the bookcase (book-eating insects thrive in this weather). I also plan to install a ceiling fan in the room and keep it going during the day to provide decent ventilation and lower the average temperature of the room. Light bulbs in the room are bright white CFL, which I guess I should ditch (what to use as a replacement?). Also, all books have mylar covers except slipcased versions.

What are your thoughts on this? Any advise? I don't want my books to end up all brown like my parents' old collections.

Can you recommend any metal bookcase or sealed wood bookcase that won't break the bank? I want to get a new bookcase to separate my new collectible books from the older books with brown pages.

Long post, I know. Thanks!

Posted on: 2016/9/20 16:44


Re: Help Preserving Book Collection
Shirrif
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Shirrif
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I don't think you need to rule out wooden bookcases. My bookcases are all solid wood, and I have a sheet of folded acid free paper thar runs across each shelf under the books. Never had a problem. The cases have glass fronts with UV film.

In terms of humidity; I use a de-humidifier, but for the most part humidity isn't an issue where I live (except middle of winter when the outside temperature can get quite low)

I also place silica gel bags in the cases, not touching the books. My lighting is LED. I've never had a problem with insects, but I think that is due to keeping the humidity well controlled and being careful with what I bring into the house.

Posted on: 2016/9/20 19:33


Re: Help Preserving Book Collection
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Maybe sealed wood with acid free paper would work.

Do you have a picture of your bookcase setup? After you do all of this, what's the RH inside the shelf and what's the temperature the books are generally exposed to?

Don't glass fronts / dust-tight bookcases prevent circulation of air which is important for the books?

Posted on: 2016/9/21 9:30


Re: Help Preserving Book Collection
Shirrif
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Sure, I'll take a picture later on. I don't think air circulation is terribly important so long as the RH is well controlled (i.e. the room they are in is nice and dry). If you regularly end up with high humidity or big swings in humidity, it is probably more relevant. The protection that the glass provides from dust and UV exceeds any downsides (in my case). I've had a decade so far with these book cases (or a little longer) and have never had any issues.

That said, you should not push the books all the way to the back of the shelves, so there is an air gap behind.

I couldn't tell you what the RH is on the shelf, but I would be surprised if there is any difference to the overall RH of the room, which is usually 35 - 45, and fairly stable.

Posted on: 2016/9/21 13:46


Re: Help Preserving Book Collection
Just can't stay away
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How important is that older books with brown pages and spots (can't tell if due to mold or something else) are in a different bookcase than newer collectibles in Fine condition?

I guess I should buy something to measure the RH in the room. No other way to know, really.

Why are you more concerned about UV than mold?

Posted on: 2016/9/21 16:29



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