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Re: [BKARTS] .059 gray cover board; the tragedy of modern paper
Have you tried Talas? They have everything. I recommend
the Eterno board of Tschudi,
,though it may not come exactly in the thickness you want. Compared to
this product, almost every other commercially board pales. It is lignin
free, and almost pure cellulose, which resists degradation. I have used
this board exclusively for years. It's a little expensive, but the
minute you use some of it, you'll understand why.
There has been considerable discussion on this list of the
deteriorating qualities of Davey board. People have reported finding
rubber bands and staples in it, and though it may be buffered, the
lignin content pretty much guarantees that there will be archival issues
in its future.
Let's face facts, book people. Modern paper is garbage, increasingly
so. It is produced almost exclusively from gymnosperms, and has a high
content of lignin and hemicellulose, about 60%, to be exact.
Increasingly, young wood is being harvested for pulp, and increasingly
larger quantities of bark --- high in extractives and fatty acids--- is
finding its way into the paper. To counteract this, paper companies are
adding huge quantities of adulterants to improve the superficial
qualities of the paper. The paper may look terrific, but it's an
I have noticed big problems in edge gilding relatively new books. I
just edge gilded an edition of the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, ca
1900, and the gilding turned out beautifully. With modern books,
adhesion problems often arise. I talked recently with a paper chemist,
and he made a very insightful comment. "I've bet you've found that the
whiter the paper is, the harder it is to edge gild."
In a number of books I've gilded, after the edge is sanded, striations
in the edge are revealed, about 1/4" thick, which reveals the varying
composition of the paper of the signatures. The uneven composition of
modern paper is bad news for those of us interested in book arts.
Cotton paper is still available. Cotton is 98% crystalline cellulose,
and highly resistant to degradation. I had my PhD thesis typed on rag
paper, and 40 years later it still gleams. The director of Linda Hall
library in Kansas City, a friend of mine, supervises a superb collection
of rare technical books, many dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The bindings on many of these books have long ago disintegrated, and
recently he had a number of them recased. The work was done by a book
artisan from Eastern Europe whom the library had hired specifically for
that purpose. He showed me a recased "Principia Mathematica," of Isaac
Newton. It was bound in stamped green calf leather and when he opened
it I was struck by how crisp and beautiful the pages still were. The
restorer had unsewn the pages and tumbled them in an agitator with a
mild detergent, then resewn them. Essentially, he washed them in a
washing machine. Care to try that with a new book?
Keith Berger wrote:
> Anyone know another source, besides Gane Brothers, that carry gray
> .059 cover board?
> Any thoughts will be appreciated.
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