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removing cuttings from a book



 In response to Mr. Ould's posting I should say first that I am not a
paper conservator, but I am a bookbinder responsible for repairs for a
large library with historical collections.  Bookplates, inserted matter,
doodles,etc all fall into the large catagory of marks of ownership and
should not be removed without serious consideration.  Even if the
previous owner was not of significance (yet?), books as objects have a
history to which you, as current possessor, are only a contributor.  For
future researchers interested in reader reactions to texts, social and
cultural historians, etc, you are going to be a problem if you mess with
the evidence.  The problem here is that the 'evidence' (the clippings)
is messing up the book.  Removing the clippings and bleaching out the
stains will destroy some of the book's history and potentially damage it
if the stain is removed with solvents lingering in the paper fabric.
  So.  You could try spraying the clippings with a commercial
deacidifying spray like Booksaver or Wei To and putting in thin sheets
of buffered tissue or paper to shield the facing pages from more damage.
Or, if
the clippings are fragile, photocopying them on acid-free paper and
tipping in the copy, leaving the stains but removing the cause.  It
would be a bad idea to just remove the clippings because future readers
will drive themselves nuts wondering what priceless info has been lost.
If you leave it there they can decide whether it is useful or not.
Cheers.
 Dorothy Africa


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