Are gloves required for handling rare books?

Contrary to popular belief, gloves are generally not recommended as proper handling for rare books! The best way to prepare for handling rare materials is to simply wash and dry your hands thoroughly.

In cases where the books contain photographs or are decorated with metal or ivory, clean gloves (nitrile, vinyl, or lint-free cotton) will be provided.

We hope that this is helpful; If not, please feel free to submit your question to begin a conversation with a Reference Librarian. 


Last Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Views: 1388

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Send written correspondence to:

Rare Book and Special Collections Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4740