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Czech National Library Scrambles To Save Thousands of Books at Risk of Decay

Posted by Jean-Yves on Aug 9, 2019

Over 90 percent of books in the Czech National Library printed after the year 1800 are threatened with destruction caused by acid, which has been forming in the paper over the years. The library has now taken a major step to prevent the valuable volumes from turning to dust, sending several thousand of them to Germany to undergo special chemical treatment, called de-acidification.

3,800 volumes from Prague’s Klementinum, which translates into over 2.2 tonnes of paper, were loaded on a truck and shipped to a special chemical treatment facility in Germany, which will neutralize acids in the paper so as to prevent it from disintegrating. The Czech Ministry of Culture has earmarked six million crowns for the project.

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