Preservation FAQs

How should I store my books?

How can I save wet books? What if my books are moldy?

How can I get rid of the smell of mildew in my books?

How can I mend a torn page?

I have an infestation. How can I get rid of bugs in my books?

The leather on my books is worn and scuffed. Should I oil my leather books?

How can I preserve my newspaper clippings?

What do I need to know when I frame my newspaper clippings?

I have an old wedding certificate that has been stored rolled up for many years. It is quite brittle. How can I safely unroll and flatten it?

I have several old letters and certificates that I want to preserve. What can I do?

Can I store my documents in those plastic protector sheets that fit 3-ring binders?

Is there any problem with putting more than one document in the same plastic sleeve?

Is it okay to laminate a document?

What about the ink used in copiers and printers? Is there an archival ink that can be used as an alternative?

How can I preserve my family photographs for my grandchildren?

I’ve heard that color photos fade. What can be done to stop the fading?

What is the best way to store negatives? Should color negatives be stored the same as black and white?

My grandmother’s photo collection was glued on that old black paper that photo albums were made of. How can I get the photos out of the album?

How should I display documents or works of art on paper?

How can I prevent damage to original artwork on paper from aging and contamination?

Book Preservation at the Univ. of Virginia Library
Document and Photo Preservation FAQ by Linda L. Beyea
Preservation Directorate: Library of Congress
Why Good Arts Goes Bad- Artwork Preservation by Terry Whittier

Note: The preservation procedures described here have been used in the care of collections and are considered suitable from the authors/library; however, the authors/library will not be responsible for damage to your collection should damage result from the use of these procedures.