How should I care for leather-bound books that are over 100 years old?
I recommend that you get some acid-free clamshell boxes and some acid-free tissue paper. These are available from suppliers of archival products. You can then store each book in its own box. Slightly pad the bottom of the box with tissue paper, then lay the book flat in the box. Finally, roll up some more some tissue paper to pad around the book’s edges. Your books will now be in a dust-free, stable environment.
Before putting the books in the boxes, I’d recommend using a soft brush to remove any dust (do this outdoors in dry weather). Both the book block and the leather used in the binding are sensitive to overly humid or dry conditions. Avoid stacking books on top of each other, as this puts a lot of strain on the spines. There are also specialist book conservators who take on private work.
Kind regards from Alexandra, paper conservator
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