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Re: "stabilizing" an old suede leather cover

As a special collections conservator I have experienced the results of
'stabilizing and refurbishing' Especially the period when libraries used
volunteer help in their stacks. In particular I have had to treat a reverse
calf bound book/suede leather binding that had been refurbished with British
Museum dressing. I had to wash all the pages in acetone and size them as
the oil had seeped through over time and the pages were brittle. I have
seen many old books whose bindings were ruined from oiling as the material
was not recognised e.g. vellum, alum tawed pigskin and reverse calf. Also
when there was red rot in the board joints and the leather was oiled this too
seeps through to the first few pages. Enough, suffice it to say that when I
am asked for advice at work I recommed boxing. I also recommend a mylar
wrapper so that the hands can stay clean. I wow them with the price
of a clamshell box from Custom Manufacturing Inc. $6.00 to $10.00. Their
number is (717) 642 6304 Their fax # (717)642 6596 You send the
measurements, they send the box flat, which you assemble. Of course the
materials are all conservationally sound!! 
I hope this is helpful and you are sufficiently wowed

Gillian Boal
Library Book Conservator, Special Collections
University of California, Berkeley.

On Thu, 14 Jul 1994, Daniel Dumych wrote:

> Neophyte question time - I have a book from 1906 with a suede
> leather cover.  Unfortunately, the book was not treated with
> too much hospitality by its last owner - apparently, it languished
> in her attic.  The leather is coming off as dust.  Is there some
> sort of fixative which I could apply to slow or stop this process?
> I don't want it rebound.
> Thanks...
> Daniel
> --
> =================================================================
> Daniel M. Dumych          | "The whole earth is full of monuments
> aj459@freenet.carleton.ca | to nameless inventors."  Otis T. Mann 

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