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How to Store a Book Collection in Self-Storage

Apr 19. 2023

When it comes to storing books for a period of time in self-storage, it’s well worth making the effort to put some measures in place to ensure that they are stored in the best way to preserve their condition. No matter whether you have a collection of books in your home which you need to put into storage due to renovating or moving house etc or if an organisation (library or museum etc) needs to place a collection of books into storage, here are some useful pointers to bear in mind:

  • The conditions in which objects are kept and the ways in which we interact with them can have a big impact on how quickly and severely deterioration and damage takes place.
    • If your books are particularly rare, historical or of particular value and need extra care, limit their exposure to light as much as possible. This means both natural light and indoor lighting.
    • Books are prone to damage from damp and heat. Ideally, they should be stored at around 16-20 degrees Celsius and where possible, away from air conditioning.
    • Giving a book collection it’s ‘own space’ is important to preserve it’s condition. Being away from a lot of movement and with minimal handling will provide the books with the best chance of remaining in the best condition. Being in close proximity to a lot of people changes the temperature and relative humidity of a space. This really is where a self-storage room is of use to keep the books safe.
    • When you’re transferring the books into the self-storage room, avoid stacking too many boxes on top of each other. Not only is there a risk of the weight damaging the box at the bottom of the stack but it also hampers the circulation of air.
    • Don’t eat or drink in the storage room. Not only will this avoid the risk of damage from spillages etc but any crumbs or traces of food can attract vermin and this is certainly not something that you’d want in with a collection of books as this really can cause untold damage.
  •  If the books are rare and require extra care, ensure that the handling of them is minimal but if it is necessary to handle them- ensure your hands are clean, hair is tied up and any jewellery is removed. Only open the books up to 180 degrees to preserve the spines.
  • For most book collections, the professional grade packing materials that you can purchase from your removal company will be important to use. If the collections are rare/ particularly valuable, it is possible to purchase museum quality storage materials. These are made from even more specialist materials to limit damage and deterioration.
  • Don’t use newspaper as a packing material as the print can transfer onto the books.
  • Adding extra tape to the bottom and the top of the boxes with reinforce them. Fill empty spots in packing chips can be useful to fill in any empty spots and avoid the books moving in the boxes.

More information on our self-storage in Wolverhampton can be found either on our website, or our team can answer any questions you have or can arrange for a tour of our premises on 01902 714555 or via sales@burkebros.co.uk.


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