For the most part, books are made from natural materials such as paper and leather, which often contain harmful acids due to the methods in which they were originally processed. The browning and spotting of paper, commonly known as 'foxing,' is the result of these acids, along with other foreign particulates in the paper breaking down and deteriorating over time. Foxing and brittleness can also be caused through exposure to oils from your hands and atmospheric pollutants. This effect can usually be minimized and occasionally reversed through washing and specialized UV light and chemical treatments. After cleaning the pages of a book or a document, we will typically deacidify the paper with various solutions that neutralize any acids present and create a buffer against future exposure. Proper treatment through deacidification ensures that your collectibles will be preserved for years to come.
"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." —Ray Bradbury