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Dry books and papers slowly:
1. Place books on end with leaves separated.
2. When they are partially dry, pile and press books to keep pages from crumpling.
3. Alternate drying and pressing until books are thoroughly dry. This helps prevent mildew. Use a fan to hasten drying.
4. If books and papers are very damp, sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder between the leaves to absorb moisture. Leave powder for several hours and then brush off.
5. When books are nearly dry, apply low heat with an electric iron. Separate the pages to prevent musty odors. This is a tedious process, which you may want to use only with valuable books.
6. When books are thoroughly dry, close them and use C-clamps to help them retain their shape.
Even if books and papers appear to have dried successfully, they may disintegrate rapidly because of materials in the flood water. Any important documents or paper should be photocopied as a precautionary measure.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension
Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the USDA