Skip to Main Content

Disaster Manual: Recovery Procedure for Damp Books

A comprehensive collection of links to resources for disaster prevention, recovery, training, and outreach.

Recovery Procedures for Damp Books

Moving damaged books

Keep a written record of books and clearly label each box

Wrap books individually in upprinted newsprint

Pack books spine side down in a single row on the bottom of the box

Seal boxes and transport to desired area

Keep a record of which books are drying where

Damp books can be air dried

Use a clean, cool, dry place (<70 degrees, <55% humidity)

Keep air circulating -- use fans and dehumidifiers

Handle books minimally when damp -- don't force pages open etc.

Stand books upright and fanned out (if possible)

Remove any mud, debris with clean water and sponge unless they have water soluble components

Turn books every 30 minutes to evenly distribute the pull of drying materials

Paper towels can be inserted every 20 to 30 pages for excess moisture (change every 15 minutes.)

Supplies needed:

Pens and markers


Note paper

Large Strong trash bags

Boxes for moving books



Clean water source

Unprinted paper tools

Unprinted newsprint