About a month ago my lab moved temporarily from one campus to another. During the move out we unearthed many forgotten supplies, including some pieces of red velvet book cloth. Given that it’s probably not very “archival”, I was a little baffled as to why we had it in the lab in the first place.
Regardless it somehow made the move and reappeared in the new lab.
What happened next, well…let’s just say I found an appropriate use for it.
(Just to soothe the worriers out there…this is a general collections book from our circulating collection…not a special collections book! I don’t condone using red velvet for rebacks on rare books…it’s probably not acid free and also it picks up every little bit of dust nearby.)
Wow, whoever originally backed this 19th century publisher’s binding should’ve really taken a moment to calm down and take a deep breath first before continuing. They really beat the heck out of it with the hammer!
Had a bit of a splurge the other day at an auction… Not the little guy, the big guy! It’s a 17th century oak Bible box, and it looks an awful lot like my wee model of a chained book and lectern by Bryson and sons. Now I just need to buy a 17th century Bible to go in it! (The book currently on the stand is a copy of Erasmus’s Moriae Encomium, published in 1648)
Free Registration deadline: April 30, 2015 Maximum class size: 95 Class level: Beginner Instructor: Frances Harrell, NEDCC Preservation Specialist Location: Live Webinar
Scrapbooks are unique artifacts that represent personal and historical records, but often include a mix of materials and formats that present a range of preservation issues. This webinar will introduce archival materials and resources that can be used to construct stronger, more durable scrapbooks that can withstand the test of time. Preservation suppliers, archival binding methods, and other resources will be discussed.
There are some binding styles that are inherently sound and will protect the texts within for centuries. In the West, generally they include sewing gatherings of bifolia through the fold with linen thread onto supports such as hemp cords, linen tapes, or slips of alum-tawed leather. Unfortunately, these methods tend to be expensive in time and materials. So the industrialisation of printing in the 19th century led also to new and varied means of holding the leaves together, most of them emphasising speed and cheapness over longevity.
The lowest-priced books had the crudest “sewing” – often stabbing holes through the entire textblock away from the spinefold to oversew the edge, or to pass through fasteners like staples or ties. One problem with this was that the leaves could not open conventionally at the spinefold, and quickly became damaged around the stab holes as readers tried to access text near the gutter.
Around 1880, a compromise was invented in Germany by which wire staples were inserted from inside through the spinefold onto supports such as tapes or cloth. This “wire sewing” seemed a fast and strong method, well suited to books that had to open well, such as music. Development of mechanised through-the-fold book-sewing machines began at about the same time, but took much longer to become economically viable. Thus wire sewing continued in use right through to the first half of the 20th century. Unfortunately, wire sewing has one serious flaw: the wires quickly rust and corrode both the book paper and the spine support. Eventually, they disintegrate and the book falls apart….