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Re: [BKARTS] Paste experts reveal...

Oohhh, I will offer an opinion on that statement!  My job is doing book
repair and I teach it.  I definitely recommend the use of wheat starch
paste in book repair, especially for mending torn pages.

For one thing the mends made with paste are easily reversible. If done
properly, the mends are lighter weight and thus more flexible than a
mend done with PVA.  This is important in later usage of the paper
(read: flipping through (bending) pages and laying flat.)

Second, most books are made entirely of yummy food for pests -- cloth is
usually cotton and starch filled; paper and boards are cellulose.  Bugs
will eat all of it readily.  Books have been made with starch adhesives
for centuries.  Check your local rare books collections, you will see
most are in amazing condition given their age.  Starch adhesives have
been proven to work well.

When covering books with a light-weight (non-starch-filled) cloth, I
usually use a combination of 50/50 methyl cellulose/paste because it
doesn't bleed through and leave staining on the fabric, like a PVA will.

Ann Frellsen
Collections Conservator
Preservation Office,  Woodruff Library, Rm. 127
Emory University Libraries
Atlanta, GA  30322-2870
phone: 404-727-0307         FAX  404-727-0053

Pope, Barbara wrote:

>I have been told at book repair workshops that pastes are not a good idea because they are basically food and invite bugs and other creatures in to eat your books. Maybe the rest of the list has an opinion on this.

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