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Re: [BKARTS] ...... books to be leather-treated



I think Bill Minter has hit the proverbial nail on the head. Again. As usual.

I lurk also on Museum-L where I've seen similar discussions regarding
oiling leather tack  museum collections. It very often comes down to
whether the item is in an education collection getting regular use
and is intended to be replaced down the line, or an irreplaceable
object in the main collection. In the first instance, yeah, that
leather can be oiled, soaped, etc. In the latter, the single best
thing is to control the environment in order to preserve it. Very
often I hear of oils and waxes and such like cross-linking over time,
causing tackiness and other problems from conservators, so I would be
hesitant to use anything like that.

And let's face it, if it's Richard Minsky oiling a leather cover that
he's tanned, that's one thing. If it's me pulling out some treatment
I haven't a clue about to oil someone's 1800s leather volume, well,
that's going to be bad on so many different levels.

From what I understand, Klucel isn't an oil or a wax but is a
cellulose product used for consolidating, not oiling/moisturizing,
right? But it still has its problems (the previously mentioned
cockling in the hinge), yes?

And let's not even get into the fact that historically so many books
are simply not in their original binding: at what point do you take
steps to preserve that binding or simply do a restoration, that is,
replace that dried out leather binding with a new leather binding.

---Amy West


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Date:    Tue, 31 May 2005 16:56:04 -0400
From:    William Minter <wminter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

We have a responsibility to do our best with the materials that are
available to us. We (hopefully, I speak for all book conservators) do
not use products that simply claim they are the best. We want to know
if a product meets certain criteria before we use it --- in this case,
a leather dressing for either an old rare book, or for a modern leather
binding that needs a little touch-up. I/We certainly do not want to use
anything that could cause damage to a book, now or in the future.

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