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[Fwd: [b] Rebinding]

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A business opportunity for someone?

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From: "Jane Heidelberg" <ajh@xxxxxxx>
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Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 10:24:37 +0000
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Subject: [b] Rebinding
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Query--As those of you who read this list know, I am in Mississippi.
My family has been here for many generations.  My grandfather was a
law student in Boston in the eighteen nineties and bought books, many
of which I have ended up with (or "up with which I have ended").

I have decided that one reason my books are not in the best of
condition, regardless of era, must be weather conditions.  We only
got air conditioning in 1990, and have had propane gas heat (either
space heater, floor furnaces, or central) for almost fifty years.
Before that, my family house had coal central heat, but, of course,
no air.  I believe that the long exposure to temperature extremes and
very dry heat has dried out paper and cloth, whether bindings or
pages or dust jackets.

I have several sets of books which have one or more volumes that are, quite frankly, close to falling
apart, including a nineteenth century limited set of Pepy's diaries.   I also
have sets or parts of sets that my grandmother had
rebound--saving as much of the original binding as possible,
including , by oral tradition,  a first edition? (dated 1846) of
Prescott's Conquest of Mexico.  I know that long ago books were not
sold bound.  I also know that rebindings, whether due to condition or
for library uniformity, were also common.  If I have a set which
either has been rebound or should be rebound--the Pepys, for example,
that I wish to pass down to younger generation from their ancestors,
how will it affect the value if rebound and I need them to pay for my nursing home
forty years from now?

More pressingly and on this subject, our ignorant librarians culled
their shelves and got rid of, for $1.OO per volume --get this--a three volume set of the
transcript of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, published by
the government printing office, that was part of the library of
General Winfield Scott Hancock and is signed by him.  One volume has
almost no boards or back, but is otherwise complete--I think.  The
other volumes are in pretty battered condition, but have all their
pages.  I wish I had gotten to the library first, but didn't. A
friend picked up this gem.  Should he pay to have it well and
beautifully rebound?  Should he pay to have it rebound in plain black
board?  Should he leave it as is?
Jane Heidelberg
1980 Viney Ridge Road
Clarksdale, MS  38614


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