CCAHA logoLight, heat, humidity, insects, dust, and careless handling all take their toll on book collections, which can contain a wide variety of organic and inorganic components: wooden boards, paper or parchment leaves, cloth or leather coverings, metal bosses, and many different inks and pigments.

Each of these materials responds differently to environmental conditions, and the most sensitive components ideally determine how the books are handled, stored, housed, and exhibited. Although damaged books can often be rescued through conservation treatment, it is far more economical and effective to prevent their deterioration by following some basic preservation guidelines.

CCAHA’s Preservation Resources provide information on a range of preservation topics from assessing priorities, to preparing collections for moving, to emergency preparedness.  This short fact sheet is targeted to staff in collecting institutions or others who are involved in collections care activities.

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