The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 6, Number 4
Aug 1982


Longevity Committee

The revised report on book paper of the CLR Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity came out late in 1981 or early in 1982. It contains three new listings of alkaline paper mills and no other changes. The report now lists Warren, Glatfelter, Finch Pruyn, Allied (of Kalamazoo), Olin, Miami and Consolidated as sources of white and cream paper for general publishing. It lists Curtis, Howard, Mohawk and Monadnock as sources of paper for special purpose publishing. Only paper manufacturers who make neutral or alkaline grades as part of a regular product line are included in these lists. No paper manufacturers who make alkaline paper for other purposes (e.g., milk cartons, wire insulation, record keeping) are included.

The Committee's report on longevity of book bindings was published in full in the July 2 issue of Publishers Weekly. The "Guidelines for Longer-Lasting Bindings" listed there may have been summarized from the original report, or may have been quoted directly:

The Inside of the Book ("Textblock")

  1. Leave at least 5/B" inner margin.
  2. Sewing through the fold (Smyth) is preferred.
  3. For adhesive bindings use a cold emulsion PVA or a cold-plus-hot (two-shot) method. Do not use a hot- melt alone.
  4. Much depends on the quality and method of application of adhesives and on the compatibility of materials. Work with your binder and test the results.

Book Covers

(The hinge is critical for durability and longevity)

  1. Use strong acid-free endpapers (80 or 100 lb.).
  2. Use strong acid-free crash.
  3. Cloth covers are preferred; use a grade of cloth appropriate for the size and weight of the book.
  4. Nonwoven covers of Type II and better are satisfactory, especially if chosen with durability and longevity in mind. A 3-piece cover with a cloth spine is a good compromise.
  5. The grain of the cover material, boards, and end-papers should run parallel to the hinge, to minimize warping.
  6. Binding is an art. Use a good binder who can match the adhesives to the material and who will provide high quality workmanship.

("Type II" cover material is basically paper, specially treated.)

The Committee also surveyed publishers in January 1982 and found that, of those reporting [% return was not reported in the PW article], 67% of university presses and 21% of other publishers produced all their hardback books on acid-free paper. A full analysis of the survey is available from the Council on Library Resources, 1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036. So are the two reports. Send a self-addressed mailing label and a stamp or two. One of the reports will go into an ordinary envelope, but if you ask for all three it may take a big envelope.

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