How to preserve a 60 year old journal?

Can anyone give me some tips? It doesn’t have a cover anymore, and the string and glue that are holding the book together is kind of weak, so some of the pages have fallen off. It’s written in ink, and pencil, and it’s being stored in a ziplock bag in a closet. The pages are yellow, and slightly brittle. It would be okay to scan it to put the images on a CD right? Is touching it with bare hands a problem for a book this age? The writing that’s in pencil is fading. Can this be stopped or, slowed down? Any info is welcome.


First and foremost, you need to go to Micheals or A.C. Moore or a craft store like that and get a bag that is **archival quality ** (not just acid free) and get it out of the ziploc bag. I would call a local university (history dept, archeology dept, etc) and find out if they know of someone who specializes in preserving memoribilia and books. If they are unable to help call your State historical preservation society.

It would be great to put the images on CD but I think you need a professional to do it. Handling fragile documents is a very gentle job.

And please please please don’t touch the documents with your bare hands. You are transferring oils and dirt from your hands to the paper and that is helping to speed up the deterioration.

Hope that helps. Please post an update. :slight_smile:

Mrs O’Malley’s Cow, thanks for the info. I’ll keep you posted, and will contact some experts, and get a proper bag ASAP. This is the journal that my grandfather kept while he was serving in WWII. He died a little over ten years later when his children were toddlers, so since they can’t remember him, this is really all they have left. So we’d like it to last as long as possible.:slight_smile: