Storing Antique Books

Antique and rare books are some of the most popular collector’s items in the market. However, they are also some of the most fragile. To maximize your value with rare books, follow these guidelines for rare book care and storing antique books: 

  • Store away from rust, mildew, moisture, and dust
  • Keep books well ventilated and properly separated, ensuring there is enough space between each book
  • Storing antique books happens most successfully when they are in a place with low light, low humidity, even temperatures (between 60 and 70 degrees) and with little to no moisture.
  • A good tip on arranging books is to place them together by size.  Doing so allows them to stay together better and avoids books from toppling over.
  • The most fragile and rare books should be kept in specialty storage cases that are acid-free
  • Do not store books directly against an outdoor wall where dampness may creep in
  • Store books in a clean place with an even temperature - to aid in this, cover all windows with adequate blinds or shades.
  • Store books in a place and in a way, that allows plenty of air to circulate between the books.
  • Don't fall for the idea that basements, attics, and other home storage areas are good for antique book storage.  These places are some of the most ideal scenarios for mold and mildew to appear and are even susceptible to flooding and rot.
  • Take time to place books in a flat position that are wider than 3 inches or taller than 18 inches.  Books larger than this are likely to fall.
  • When you go to move and grab books don't go for the natural move by pulling an antique book out by the spine.  This can cause damage to rare books so make sure you handle them extra carefully.