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Treating a Wet Book

If the pages show signs of wetness, further action is needed:

1. Place paper towels between each of the affected pages – and yes, this may mean all of the pages in the book, depending upon the extent of the bath your book has taken

2. Put the book under weight. Old encyclopedias or phone books are great substitutes for a book press.

3. Be careful when putting a book under weight. With towels in place, the book will be thicker than the binding was designed to accommodate. Use your judgment when applying weight and do not stress the binding.

4. Change the towels out regularly – two or three times a day at least, or whenever you notice that the towels are are no longer absorbing moisture from the book.

5. Keep doing this until towels no longer seem effective, or the pages feel dry.

6. Set up the book in a desiccation chamber to complete the drying process.


Books Gone Bad - Mold in Library Collections was a project sponsored by Maine College of Art, in partnership with the Joanne Waxman Library. Funding for this project came from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. The Project Lead and Artist for this project was Diane J. Wren. All contents Copyright © 2011 by Diane J. Wren. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Diane J. Wren.