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Re: [BKARTS] Leather conditioning

This has been enormously educational.  Thank you all for the discussion thus far. I'm definitely going to track down the various sources that you've recommended for further information, and I'm looking forward to reading whatever other thoughts, ideas, and experience people have had with this matter.

I've been sharing your postings with the owner of the books, and a few related questions have come out of my conversations with him.  I hope it's all right with the list that I'm relaying these questions back and forth - - it's as much for my own learning as it is to help him.  Also, if this is too technical or specific for the list, I'm happy to take it off-list.

Wendy raised the issue of poor air circulation in barrister bookcases.  Is that a problem specifically because of the acid volatility?  Otherwise wouldn't slipcases be equally problematic?  (I suspect this leads me into to the deep water of light and temperature and humidity and acid control, which is possible in a professional library but difficult or impossible to pull off in a home library.)  The point is well taken, though - - that the bookcases themselves can be contributing to a harmful environment for the books despite the cosmetic appearance of protecting them.  (Is polluted New York City air any less harmful than being closed behind the glass of an acidic bookcase?  This is a genuine question!)

My initial cosmetic question about leather darkening and dressings has been answered by discussion about the potential structural damage that various dressings may or may not cause.  It was definitely a cosmetic matter - - the leather is not nearly as dry as I seem to have made it sound; it really was a matter of shining them up and keeping the leather supple.   That being said, the books' owner wonders whether Richard or others who do treat leather books have any observations on how leather darkens - - or not - -in response to whatever dressings you use. (Before we decided to investigate this question, he had treated a copy of the Nonesuch _Compleat Angler_ by Izaak Walton, which is bound in leather much like that of the Shakespeare and of the same period.  The hinges darkened considerably more than the flat surface of the cover, and he's watching to see if it will lighten again any.) Or is it a matter, as Sid points out, of how the leather was initially treated?

Again, I - - and he - - really appreciate your responses thus far.

Best to all for the holiday weekend,

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