What happens to rare manuscripts when they become old and begin to fall apart? They get restored! And now you can get in on the action.
From the Goodreads Voice article, 3/3/14:
With the Smithsonian Libraries, home to more than 50,000 rare books, you can select a specific book to “adopt” from the active list of books in need of restoration. Among the items currently up for adoption, you’ll find historic manuscripts from the 1700s and 1800s, and the list is always changing.
Across the pond you can help the Adopt-a-book program at the British Library preserve more than 1,800 works every year.
And Australian book lovers can support rare works in the University of Adelaide’s collection.
Many regional branches also offer adopt-a-book programs, so ask your local librarian for a suggestion!