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Re: [BKARTS] Books left in the cold



Bill is right on the money -- the culprit is condensation. I used to
work for a small publishing company here in Edmonton, Canada, where it
is cold and snowy the better part of the year. My job consisted largely
of making coffee, and hauling boxes of books up two flights of stairs
when they were delivered from the printers.

After being trucked cross-country in the dead of winter, the boxes had
to stay sealed as long as possible in order to avoid warping the stock
inside. That way there would be effectively no exposure to any moisture
in the air, which would otherwise condense on the book surfaces before
the books had a chance to warm to room temperature. I've since used the
same technique when moving computers and electronic equipment, to avoid
moisture forming on equally sensitive internal parts.

As an aside, another problem caused by the cold (although hopefully
less of a concern with the finer binding practiced by all you Book Arts
listers) was with the adhesive used to "perfect bind" our books -- a
term I found hilarious even then. The combination of cold and
relatively low humidity in Edmonton ("it's cold, but at least it's a
dry cold") often reduced the tackiness in the binding adhesive,
resulting in pages popping loose.

My thanks as a lurker for the great stories and information from
everyone!

Winston

On Monday, February 10, 2003, at 01:29 PM, William Minter wrote:

*********************
Although I do not have any direct experience with cold books, it would
seem
to me that -- as Ed has suggested -- letting them acclimate would be
best.
My theoretical explanation: When you bring the books into a warm room
from
the cold environment, moisture will condense on the exposed surfaces.
That
moisture will be absorbed, then evaporate as the item warms. Since
(some)
paper can be very sensitive to moisture, especially on one side, this
may be
where the problem is. I would suggest wrapping the books -- outside,
in the
cold -- snug in paper, possibly even in plastic. When you bring then
inside,
keep them lightly weighted under a wooden board (same size or larger)
with a
couple of bricks. After a few days, the books should be the same
temperature
as the room.
A further thought: It should be possible to salvage the warped books by
rehumidifying (throughout/uniformily), and then placing the book under
a
weight (as above). It is a little difficult to explain the entire
process in
this short message.
Good Luck.

Bill Minter
William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
Woodbury, PA

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---

Winston Pei, BA, MA, MGDC

Black Riders Design
3611 27 Ave NW
Edmonton AB  T6L 6C5

Phone: 780-913-0031
http://www.blackriders.com/

            ***********************************************
           BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
     For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
           resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
                     <http://www.philobiblon.com>

       Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine
                   <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu>
            ***********************************************


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