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Re: [BKARTS] Proper storage of/enclosures for vellum-covered books

Carrie Phillips asked:
>>> Can anyone suggest good sources of information and best practices
for creating enclosures for books with vellum covers?

and I replied with the suggestion of dropspine-box-with-added-foreedge

Dashing out the door for conference, Bill Minter then sent me a note
suggesting that in this -- as in most things conservationally -- it is
necessary to add some caveats and warnings.  To wit:

If you insert in said style of box a limp-vellum binding or a
boarded-vellum binding that has _not_ warped, you should be home free in
terms of keeping it flat _while it is stored in the box_.  

However, if the covers are already warped, or if you remove the book and
the boards warp before you reinsert it in the box, _then_ the situation
calls for thought and the application of common sense.

Applying to a warped binding the principle of compensating pressures on
which this box design works -- i.e., pressing down on the foreedge of
the binding -- will transfer that pressure to the spine of the book --
which may very well crack the binding at the hinge and pop off one or
both boards.  Presumably you do not want to do that.  It is also not
likely that putting a warped book in this kind of box under mild
pressure will, over time, tend to reduce the warping. It probably won't.

So, if have already warped books, you may still want to consider this
kind of storage box, _but_ you want to fit the trays to the foreedge of
the books (rather than the spine, or greatest thickness) and build up
the spine edges of the trays in such a way that the flap board applies
no or at most mild pressure to the hinges. This will help to forestall
further warping (and it may make it possible to shelve the book more
comfortably since the square container will not push other books off the
shelf as warped or warping bindings tend to do). 

Sets of vellum binding with warped covers are sometimes seen shelved
with the spine of volume one facing out, of volume two facing the back
of the shelf, etc. This method of responding to warped covers could be
adapted to boxes or slipcases by placing two volumes in an enclosure.

Cordially --------- Sid Huttner, The University of Iowa Libraries

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