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Dear Dave,

I have a similar problem with some assorted papers from my school days which 
sometime I need to bind - when I have time!   I also have the atlas volume 5 from 
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary, 1832, which has folded maps of somewhat 
different heights and thicknesses.

My intent is to guard the loose pages into suitable signatures and then make up the 
shorter items by adding in sufficient folded leaf stubs to give all signatures the 
same height.   The signatures would then be sewn and backed as normal.   In the 
case of the atlas then the stubs would be made up similarly to the thickness of 
each folded map.

I am not sure what you might do for the volume where there is a mixture of 
landscape and portrait pages.   This will obviously leave the fore edge lacking in 
substance by some inches for the portrait signatures?   I suppose that by enclosing 
the portrait signatures in a single heavy paper, wrapped-round guard leaf of the 
same width as the landscape signature, then a suitable thickness of trimmed paper 
leaves could be glued to the guard fore-edge to bring it out to the width of the 
landscape signature.  This would effectively enclose the fore-edge of the portrait 
signatures.  A similar arrangement would be required for the landscape signature 
to bring it to the height of the portrait leaves.

The result of this assortment might not be too pleasing to the eye when the 
volumes are opened, but from an external view the edges would look as normal 
except along the top-edge.  One could enclose the smaller sections with a made 
up guard round all three edges perhaps, but this is becoming time consuming and 
expensive?   Perhaps your customer would be perfectly happy just to have the 
papers bound to keep them tidy rather a complex binding approach?

Alternatively perhaps he would be happy to have them collected in a slip case or 
drop-back box?

Some likely ideas and sketches are given in Eric Burdett, "The Craft of 
Bookbinding", Chap 6, Miscellaneous Items.   

I am sure you will removing the metal staples!

Rodney Fry

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