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Re: [BKARTS] secret book repair



On Tue, 15 Mar 2005, P. Wren wrote:


Faulty analogy I believe! The books really belong to the taxpayers. She would be saving all of them money, including herself. Vandalism?? Well, according to my dictionary, vandalism is destruction of property. Surely, repairing a book is NOT destructive.

pam, still a librarian

Rebinding a book (which is where this thread started) absolutely has a destructive element. When I started learning conservation work, I was shocked by the violence of the initial preparation stages. (I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, but slicing off the covers of books with scalpels was not it.) If you're rebinding in a new case, then the whole original binding is destroyed; if you're retaining the original boards, there will still be elements of the original structure that are lost or altered. That loss of artifactual information is often outweighed by gains in stability and functionality. But that doesn't mean it's not a loss.

It's not only old and rare books that have something of value or interest
to their bindings, either.  Sometimes there's an interesting or relevant
image on the cover or the endsheets, sometimes the structure or materials
of the binding itself have something to say about the book.  (A couple of
examples, things I saw in the past couple of weeks: a current art book
whose boards are mostly exposed, with titling information embossed in them
in blind.  And an edition of the works of Gandhi, bound in handspun kadhi
cloth.)

Rachel

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