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Re: removing a bookplate

Everyone must be starting their weekends early.  No replies yet to this one ...

You are probably right about the ink possibly being fugitive in water.  Testing
it in just a small area with a cotton swab would tell you for sure.  And while
you are at it, I would test the other inks as well. Better safe than ....  So
you probably will not want to use water or even steam, which could make the ink
run as well.

It sounds like you are not reusing the original covers, so your suggestion of
lifting the plate with a chunk of the original board is how I would go.  That
way you can attack the problem from the back.  Scrap/lift/mechanically remove
all the board/linings/pastedowns that you can.  Often times this will be enough
and you can use the plate as is.  If there is an extra layer of paper on the
back, it usually isn't noticeable.  If it is being stubborn and you have to
resort to water or steam, at least once you have it removed from the cover you
can localize the water and its effects to the backside.  Just be careful not to
soak through or let water spill under the bookplate.

Good luck.  Let me know if you have any further questions ...


--- "Steven D. Hales" <hales@BLOOMU.EDU> wrote:
I need some expert advice here. I am rebinding a book for a client. It has
a presentation bookplate pasted down inside the front cover. The bookplate
was installed, and inscribed with a fountain pen around 1888. I need to
safely remove the bookplate. How can I do it?

I am apprehensive about just soaking the cover, because I am afraid that
the fountain pen ink might bleed. What about steaming it? I could cut a
wide margin around it and try to dig deep under the plate with a lifting
knife, but this doesn't seem ideal.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

--- end of quote ---

 Eric Alstrom
 Collections Conservator
 Dartmouth College
 Hanover, NH


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