What should I do with a wet/moldy collection item?

Take necessary safety precautions if the water is contaminated with sewage or other hazards or if there is active (wet or furry) mold growth. In some cases, personal protective equipment (e.g., waterproof gloves and boots; coveralls; face masks; respirators) may provide sufficient protection, but when in doubt, do not take unnecessary safety risks.

Set out objects to air dry immediately upon getting wet or discovery of wetness or mold and control the ambient temperature and relative humidity. If newly wet or moldy papers cannot be air dried within two days, prepare and freeze -- see Freezing and Drying Wet Books and Records (Northeast Document Conservation Center). If there are mold stains only, ensure ambient relative humidity stays between 35-55% to prevent regrowth; check items regularly.

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Last Updated: Mar 02, 2021
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