Humidity and storing paper manuals

Lyle Bickley lbickley at
Wed Jun 7 11:49:03 CDT 2006

On Wednesday 07 June 2006 06:28, John Allain wrote:
> Just would like to add that a solution I've been thinking about is bag
> sealing the things that may have to go in the basement.  The bag itself
> is 100% moisture proof and whatever small wear holes there are or
> the tie around the bag opening would admit some air and therefore
> humidity, but it would cut the air exposure rates down by a factor of
> 1000's to 1, I would think.  May have to back it up with Dessicant in
> the bag too., for one, can sell that in bulk for this purpose.
> Seal the bag in the climate controlled area first and then put that in the
> basement to start off well.

Since I'm a volunteer at the Computer History Museum, I thought this subject 
would be best addressed by a professional archivist. I asked Allison Akbay 
<akbay at> for advice for vintage computer collectors in 
storing documents. Here is her response:
The good news is the caring for books and other documents is something
that archivists, conservationists and Museum collection managers have
down pat as we have had hundreds of years experience at caring for these
types of things.  Now caring for vintage computers is a whole new
field... ;-) [my smily face - Lyle]

There are some really wonderful references online, here are a few I

American Institute for Conservation publishes brochures for the public
that are available online:

Conservation online has a number of great resources run by a great
variety of Museums and archives:

The National Parks publication Conserve O Gram is aimed at collections
in parks but is easily useable by the general public.  All of the
Conserve O Grams are available online at:
In addition, for those who live in, or are visiting the San Francisco Bay Area 
in June, Allison is running a workshop on artifact and document care:

"June 21st at 2 pm I am teaching a artifact handling workshop at the
Museum which gives a basic introduction to document care" - Allison

Lyle Bickley
Bickley Consulting West Inc.
Mountain View, CA

"Black holes are where God is dividing by zero"

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