Use Sealed Wood Or Metal Bookshelves To Protect Your Book Collection

Use Sealed Wood Or Metal Bookshelves To Protect Your Book Collection

For those of us who still own dead tree books, storing them properly is more challenging than it sounds. Sure, you could buy cheap bookshelves, but long-term storage and preservation requires the right type of materials

Photo by Barta IV

Unclutterer passes along a tip from the Art Institute of Chicago on the risks of cheap shelving:

Book collections should be stored on bookshelves made from metal or sealed wood. Unsealed wood releases damaging acidic vapours into the environment and can accelerate the deterioration of books.

Check out the links for other book storage tips.

Book Preservation [The Art Institute of Chicago via Unclutterer]


  • Reminds me of an interesting problem with longevity. If all our books are on electronic devices, can we be sure we can pass them to our descendants? Or, is that not important any more?
    Many years ago, when I was involved in consulting to a state archive authority, we were discussing modern archive media: I think it was 3M’s archive quality magnetic tape that was on the table: they extolled is great virtue as having a 35 year life.
    The archivist pointed out that his profession was still fretting over the introduction of rag paper 500 years ago!

    • The benefit of electronic devices is that it is easy to move from one device to the next. Couple that with the fact you could have a version of every book in each library around the world it make sit easier to store books.
      It is why many people say you need to regular backup your family photos and the like. Many people have lost a huge number of their saved photos and don’t know it yet. The cheap CD backup they made 10 years ago has already aged and is unreadable

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