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Suede Rot - Britannica 11th edition



Greetings:

Recently I acquired a copy of the 1909 Encyclopedia Britannica 11th edition -
considered a masterpiece among reference books. There are 29 volumes in dark
brown suede.

Regrettably, the spines faced the sun in a special bookcase that came with
the editions. The spines have dried out, flaked off, and are powdery due to
rot.

On most volumes, the front and back covers are far less powdery, but have
become detached from the spine along the joint.

I plan to either:
(a) rebind the volumes, or
(b) condition and stabilize the covers, and attach them to new spines. Since
I have not done bindings with leather, I will first take classes in this
topic at the Center for Book Arts.

In considering option (b) I have read the archives of the listserv, but the
research on consolidants and stabilizers is dated to the mid-1990s.

So I'd like to ask the group the following questions:

1: How should I treat the suede covers (still in pretty good condition) to
prevent further deterioration?

2. Some of the spines are intact, but powdery. Is there a
stablizer/consolidator that I can apply to them? (I read about Krylon Clear
and Plextol B500, but that was discussed about five years ago, and I wonder
if the state of the art has progressed.) For those spines that can be
re-affixed, what type of adhesive should I use to attach the old spines to
the new spine material, whether cloth or leather.

Thank you for taking time to respond if you can be of help.

Best regards,
Michael Stewart
We Speak Volumes
Peekskill, NY

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