Anda di halaman 1dari 35

Preserving Columbias

Library Materials
Part 1
What this presentation covers

Part 1: Why materials deteriorate.


Part 2: Shelving materials carefully.
Part 3: Handling materials carefully.
Part 4: Identifying and preventing
damage.
Why materials deteriorate.

Chemical deterioration from the


materials themselves and the
environment theyre stored in.
Physical deterioration due to wear
and tear.
Disasters.
Chemical deterioration

Everything organic deteriorates.


Books are made of organic materials
-- paper, cloth, leather.
Paper fibers magnified.
Long strands of cellulose matted together like felt.
Very flexible when new.
Handmade paper
Before the middle of the 1800s, paper was
made by hand.
Paper was made of cotton and linen fibers --
long, strong fibers that can last hundreds of
years.
No harmful chemicals were added.
Making paper by hand.
Handmade paper
like this has
lasted for
centuries.

It stays flexible.

It doesnt turn
yellow.
Modern paper
is made by machines.
The usual material is wood pulp -- contains
elements that slowly turn into acids.
Paper-makers add
acidic chemicals to
whiten paper.
Acid breaks up paper
fibers into short
pieces.
Paper becomes
yellow, brittle, and
breaks easily.
Acid-free paper
It is possible to produce acid-free paper that
will last hundreds of years, even from wood
pulp.
Paper makers can add chemicals to
neutralize the acid and keep paper flexible.
Many US and
European publishers
use acid-free paper.

Often they put a note


on the title page
verso.

Chemical deterioration
is speeded up by
High temperature -- over 70
High humidity -- over 50%
Fluctuating humidity
Light
Pollution
High temperatures
A rise in temperature of 10 degrees Celsius
makes chemical reactions happen twice as
fast.
The recommended high temperature for
books is 70 degrees.
High humidity

Speeds up chemical deterioration so


that paper becomes brittle faster.
Encourages insects and mold.
High humidity
Encourages
insects.
These covers
were chewed on
by roaches.
Humidity over 50% encourages
mold.
Fluctuating
humidity
When humidity
keeps switching
quickly between high
and low, materials
like vellum expand
and contract as the
air gets wetter or
drier until they warp
and break.
Other environmental
sources of damage:

Light
Pollution
Light causes damage due to fading.
Curtains and light timers in
stacks reduce damage.
Pollution
Gases given off by car exhaust are acidic and
help paper to become brittle.
Dirt gets on book covers and makes a mess.
Physical deterioration
is caused by

Wear and tear from heavy


use
Carelessness
Poor shelving and handling
Photocopying
Books wear out due to heavy use
Poor
shelving
Lack of
bookends can
cause
permanent
damage due to
lack of proper
support.
And careless handling
Photocopying causes damage
Disasters cause damage
Every year fire, floods, storms,
earthquakes, and disasters due to
poor facilities management in
libraries damage or destroy
thousands of books and other
materials.
Floods and leaks can devastate
libraries.
Fire are even
worse.
The Los Angeles
Public Library fire
of 1986 damaged
over 1.3 million
volumes, and
destroyed 370,000.
Fire
damage

Little or
nothing
may
survive.
Water damage

Water causes books


to swell and warp.
Books with glossy
paper stick together
in a solid block if
they are not dried
immediately after
getting wet.
Mold
Even damp books can grow mold in just a
few days.
Columbias Annex shelving
collapse in 1989
-- caused by poorly installed shelving.
Slide show continues.

Go on to Part 2:
Shelving materials carefully.

If you have questions, send email to


gertz@columbia.edu.