Historical holdings in a new guise: Almost 1,500 German-language books that were cleaned, deacidified, restored, or rebound and protectively packaged as part of the project "Nimm ihm Saures!" (“Take its Acid!”) have returned to the library of the Institute for German Culture and History of Southeastern Europe.
The Coordination Office for the Preservation of Written Cultural Heritage (KEK), financed by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, has again announced a special program for the promotion of large-scale conservation projects in 2019. The application submitted by the IKGS in January 2019 was successful. Its aim was to ensure the permanent preservation of rare monographs from the current and former German settlement areas of 
deu. Siebenbürgen, deu. Transsylvanien, deu. Transsilvanien, ron. Transilvania, ron. Ardeal

Transylvania is a historical landscape in modern Romania. It is situated in the center of the country and is populated by about 6.8 million people. The major city of Transylvania is Cluj-Napoca. German-speaking minorities used to live in Transylvania.

ron. Banat, hun. Bánság, srp. Банат, hrv. Banat, deu. Banat, srp. Banat

The Banat is a historical landscape located in South-Eastern Europe, in the states of Serbia, Hungary and Romania. The region is situated between the rivers Danube, Marosh and Tisza, as well as a southern part of the Carpathian Mountains and the lowland plain of Hungary. The main city of the Banat is Timișoara in Romania.

 in present-day 
deu. Rumänien, ron. România

Romania is a country in southeastern Europe with a population of almost 20 million people. The capital of the country is Bucharest. The state is situated directly on the Black Sea, the Carpathian Mountains and borders Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova. Romania was established in 1859 from the merger of Moldova and Wallachia. Romania is home to Transylvania, the central region for the German minority there.

. The selected media focus on locations in the region where printing work was done and where there were German publishers or publishers with a fixed German-language program. The works are predominantly in German and have references to the history and culture of the German minority. Priority was given to the cities of 
deu. Kronstadt, deu. Krunen, lat. Corona, deu. Cronstadt, deu. Stephanopolis, ron. Orașul Stalin, hun. Brassó

Brașov is located in the historical region of Transylvania in the center of Romania and is a large city with almost 250,000 inhabitants. Brașov was one of the settlement centers of the Transylvanian Saxons.

ron. Cluj, hun. Kolozsvár, lat. Claudiopolis, lat. Claudianopolis

Cluj-Napoca (German: Klausenburg, Hungarian: Kolozsvár) is a major city in the Transylvanian county of Cluj in northwestern Romania. It is the second largest city in Romania with about 324,000 inhabitants.

deu. Hermannstadt, hun. Nagyszeben

Sibiu (rom. Sibiu, hung. Nagyszeben) is a city in central Romania. With almost 147,000 inhabitants it is the capital of the Sibiu County. It is located in the historical region of Transylvania and is an important place of the German speaking minority of the Transylvanian Saxons. Sibiu is located about 275 km northeast of Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

deu. Temeswar, srp. Темишвар, srp. Temišvar, hun. Temesvár, deu. Temeschwar

Timișoara is a large city in western Romania, not far from the borders with Serbia and Hungary. It was a settlement center of the German-speaking Danube Swabians until World War II. Timișoara has just under 320,000 inhabitants.

Alba Iulia
hun. Gyulafehérvár, deu. Weißenburg, deu. Karlsburg

Alba Iulia is a Romanian city in the historical region of Transylvania in the center of the country. It is inhabited by nearly 63,000 people and is an important center of the region. The city is situated northwest of Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

hun. Szászsebes, deu. Mühlbach

Sebeș (German: Mühlbach) is a Romanian town in Alba County. The city is placed in the historical region of Transylvania in central Romania and is inhabited by about 27,000 people. Sebeș is located not far from the mouth of the river of the same name into the Mureș.

hun. Medgyes, . Meddesch, . Medwesch, deu. Medwisch, deu. Mediasch

Mediaș (German: Mediasch) is a Romanian city in the Transylvanian county of Sibiu. It is inhabited by about 47,000 people and is located in central Romania. The city is located in a valley in the Carpathian foothills.

lat. Castrum Sex, lat. Saxoburgum, hun. Segesvár, deu. Schäßburg

Sighișoara (German: Sighisoara) is a Romanian city in the Transylvanian county of Mureș. The city is inhabited by about 28,000 people and is located in central Romania on the Târnava Mare, a tributary of the Mureș. The city was an important place for the Transylvanian Saxons.

hun. Resicabánya, srp. Решица, hrv. Ričica, srp. Rešica, deu. Reschitz, deu. Reschitza

Reșița (German: Reschitza or Reschitz) is a Romanian town in Caraș-Severin County. It is situated in the historical region of Banat, not far from the border with Serbia, in the far west of Romania. Reșița is home to 73,000 people. The city was inhabited by many Transylvanian Saxons.

The holdings
The 850 volumes and 600 capsule writings date from the period between the beginning of the 19th century and 1990, when acidic paper was regularly used. Over the years, the acids cause the paper to yellow and lose its elasticity; eventually, it becomes brittle and is easily torn. In Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the production of acidic paper was more widespread than in Western Europe. The year 1990 therefore has a double significance as a year of upheaval. On the one hand, it heralded an opening to the West and thus new standards in paper production. On the other hand, many publishing houses, often without a clear legal successor, had to close down during the politically difficult times, making it particularly difficult to replace printed products.
Conservation and restoration measures carried out
Not only the paper quality, but also the bindings of the selected works made conservation and restoration measures necessary. Many volumes were bound only in a paper envelope or not at all. Others were only held together by metal staples – these had to have the metal removed and were re-stitched to prevent rust damage. In some books, missing sections of pages had to be added and tears repaired. Other damage, such as that caused by mice, required much more complex paper restoration work.
In order to prevent their imminent decay, to enable their use and to ensure the preservation of the originals, about 300 kg of books had to be cleaned, de-acidified and partly treated for conservation. The highest priority in all restoration measures was always the greatest possible preservation of the original.
In the next step, major restoration work was carried out on 374 volumes. New bindings were made and spines were repaired that had been damaged by incorrect storage or handling. For particularly beautiful or rare books, custom-fitted slipcases were made of acid-free cardboard to protect them on the shelf from abrasion by neighboring books. 600 rare capsule typefaces , i.e. thin booklets of less than 100 pages, were packed in acid-free dust jackets and are now stored horizontally in special archive boxes for more gentle storage.
For those books that could not be de-acidified due to the condition of the paper, but also for copyright-free books from the project, digitization is now being increasingly pursued, in cooperation with the Bavarian State Library and other organizations. Thanks to the generous support of the CEC with a donation of more than €70,000, the rare books will be preserved as originals for centuries to come through de-acidification and restoration in the IKGS library. They will soon be made accessible worldwide as digital copies.
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