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Subject: Dust jackets

Dust jackets

From: Nancy C. Schrock <nschrock>
Date: Wednesday, September 27, 1995
Book Jacket Protectors: Types and Terminology

The type of dust jacket protectors that Peter Jermann describes in
public libraries is different from the polyester book jacket
mentioned by G. Leake.  The latter, which appears in the NEDCC
Manual, is custom made of Mylar and protects the book, with or
without a dust jacket.  It provides excellent protection because its
design incorporates flaps that wrap around all edges of a board. It
is particularly useful for books with deteriorating leather or
fragile cloth covers.  Each takes about 10 minutes to make.

The term for the type of protectors used in public libraries is
"book jacket covers" and these are marketed by library vendors such
as Gaylord, Brodart, Demco, University Products, and Highsmith,
where they are sold by the hundreds. I am most familiar with the
types marketed Gaylord, which are available in a standard and
archival line.  The standard versions, found in the Reference
Catalog, are typically made of 1.5 mil or 2 mil polyester with or
without a white kraft paper backing that provides additional
support. The polyester has a surface that prevents the covers from
sticking to each other from static electricity. Gaylord's archival
version is made of Mylar D with a white alkaline backing paper (pH
of 8.0). They take only a few minutes to apply; it is important not
to tape the polyester covers directly onto the boards as that will
cause a permanent stain when the tape is removed.

I was interested in Peter's observations about the differences
between types of repair done in public and academic libraries.  The
survey of Massachusetts public libraries, cited by Gregor, found
that 15% of the collections had hinge damage, compared to 5.6% with
spine damage, despite heavy use (15-30 circulations).  But book
jacket covers add another step in processing and require routine
replacement so their use demands careful consideration.  For public
libraries, book jacket covers keep books looking like new, providing
an attractive book stock that will stimulate circulation, their
principle mission (any preservation advantage is a bonus). This is
not an issue in research libraries.  Yet where libraries are
concerned with the artifactual value of modern books, book jacket
covers may have a role.  Modern dust jackets are an integral part of
book design, comparable to the embossed covers of the nineteenth
century. Ironically, they are currently preserved only in our public
libraries and private collections.

Nancy Schrock
Conservator/Consultant
15 Cabot St.
Winchester, MA 01890

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                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:30
                Distributed: Friday, September 29, 1995
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Received on Wednesday, 27 September, 1995

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