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Proper Book Handling and Cleaning

The following is taken verbatim from a document that appeared several years ago in the Maine State Archives.  It seems to have been removed from their website.  I happened to have made a physical copy of it at the time I was looking into the preservation of leather book bindings back in 2006.

Main State Archives: Guidelines for Restoration and Preservation of Documentary Papers, Maps, Books. [http://www.state.me.us/sos/arc/general/admin/doconsrv.htm]

Handling Books

Never remove a book from the shelf by pulling upon the headcap.  Push back a few books at wither side and firmly grasp the sides of the selected volume.

Books leaning to one side will be damaged along the spines.  Books should stand upright, and, in the absence of book ends, should be supported by lying several volumes flat against the standing volumes.

Large books should be stored flat.

Cleaning Books

Using a prepared cloth such as “One-Wipe” or a clean cloth treated with “Endust” will reduce the spread of dust.

Take one book at a time, and hold the book firmly closed to prevent dust from entering the pages.  With the spine up, tip the head forward and down; dust the top or the pages thoroughly, stroking downward; then dust all other surfaces..

Certain erasers may be used to clean book covers and any surface dirt from pages. However, in cleaning paper, a soft bristled brush should be tried before resorting to erasers.

Erasers, in order of decreasing abrasiveness, are Faber’s “Pink Pearl and Magic Rub” and art gum erasers.  For paper, the “Opaline” Dry Cleaning or Dietzgen’s “Skum-X” can be used; using the latter two, sprinkle eraser crumbs over the soiled area and gently rub in a circular motion with the flat of the fingers.  To lessen the likelihood of damage, work from the center of the page to the edges. Remove all eraser crumbs when finished.

If any doubt exists about the strength of the paper, leave the page alone.

Care must be exercised to avoid damage to the gold stamping of titles on book covers which can be ruined through improper erasures.

The erasers referenced above are available through stationary or drafting supply stores.

Leather Bookbindings

Factors influencing the deterioration of leather are the quality and age of the original skin and the tanning process by which the stability of the leather was achieved.

Leather produced before 17th Century was of fine quality and very long-lasting; whereas that produced since the late 17th Century frequently show rapid and sever degradation.  The older vegetable tanning processes (the type usually used for bookbinding) may have left protective or buffering salts that reduced deterioration; apparently, these salts are missing from modern leather bindings.

Strong mineral acids from air pollutants and sulfuric acid left by the tannage process contribute to the destruction of leathers.

Relative humidities below 40% cause leathers to dry out and deteriorate; on the other hand, high humidities and high temperatures speed up the chemical deterioration of leather.

Light, even indirect sunlight, will produce fading or darkening of dyes in leather; valuable bindings should be protected in boxes made from opaque and inert materials.

The flexibility and suppleness of leather depends on the sliding action of fibers which can become dried out if not lubricated.  Thus, an important step in the preservation of leather is replacement of those natural oils which may have oxidized.  In some cases before lubrication, the leather may require rehumidification to restore moisture content.

The sulfuric acid used in processing modern leathers is extremely difficult to remove; also, in the process, the natural buffering salts are washed out of the skin.  The lost salts can be replaced with potassium lactate (see SOURCES) which serves as a buffering salt and neutralizes any strong mineral acids.

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Quotations

Maidens are said to have power within their eyes to attract to themselves the love of men.

— Leonardo Da Vinci

The Treasure of Abbot Thomas – from Ghost Stories of M.R. James

I

Verum usque in præsentem diem multa garriunt inter se Canonici de abscondito quodam istius Abbatis Thomæ thesauro, quem sæpe, quanquam adhuc incassum, quæsiverunt Steinfeldenses. Ipsum enim Thomam adhuc florida in ætate existentem ingentem auri massam circa monasterium defodisse perhibent; de quo multoties interrogatus ubi esset, cum risu respondere solitus erat: “Job, [...] Read more →

The Age of Chivalry

CHAPTER 1 – Introduction

KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS

On the decline of the Roman power, about five centuries after Christ, the countries of Northern Europe were left almost destitute of a national government. Numerous chiefs, more or less powerful, held local sway, as far as each [...] Read more →

The History of Witchcraft in England – The Beginnings

The Beginnings of English Witchcraft

It has been said by a thoughtful writer that the subject of witchcraft has hardly received that place which it deserves in the history of opinions. There has been, of course, a reason for this neglect—the fact that the belief in witchcraft is no longer [...] Read more →

Penal Methods of the Middle Ages

CHAPTER I

PENAL METHODS OF THE MIDDLE AGES

Prisons as places of detention are very ancient institutions. As soon as men had learned the way to build, in stone, as in Egypt, or with bricks, as in Mesopotamia, when kings had many-towered fortresses, and the great barons castles [...] Read more →

Country House Essays Book Now in Print

Country House Essays, the book is now in print. This is an eclectic collection of both original, and historical essays, poems, books, and articles created for our loyal reader hear at CountryHouseEssays.com. It is jam packed with reprints of articles from this website. The cost is $49.95 for this massive [...] Read more →

Clarivoyance by C.W. Leadbeater

Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras, India, 1890

CLAIRVOYANCE

by C. W. Leadbeater

Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Pub. House

[1899]

CHAPTER IX

METHODS OF DEVELOPMENT

When a men becomes convinced of the reality of the valuable [...] Read more →

Westminster Confession of Faith – 1646

CHAPTER I. Of the Holy Scripture.

Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary [...] Read more →

Growing Muscadine Grapes in Tennessee

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee has a long heralded tradition of assisting farmers and growers through it’s Agricultural Extension Service. The following bulletin entitled Grape Growing in Tennessee discusses the Muscadine variety of grapes among others. Muscadine grapes are often found growing wild in Tennessee. On my grandfather’s West Tennessee [...] Read more →

Platform of the American Institute of Banking in 1919

Resolution adapted at the New Orleans Convention of the American Institute of Banking, October 9, 1919:

“Ours is an educational association organized for the benefit of the banking fraternity of the country and within our membership may be found on an equal basis both employees and employers; and in full appreciation [...] Read more →

Parting Words to Kate from The Sloop of War, Jamestown

Sloop of War Jamestown – Photo from book The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, Series 1, Vol. 3.

Several years ago, I purchased a small memory book entitled Album of Love from the mid 1800s.

Much like scrap books of today, these books were used to keep [...] Read more →

Historic authenticity of the Spanish SAN FELIPE of 1690

Model of San Felipe

Reprinted from FineModelShips.com with the kind permission of Dr. Michael Czytko

The SAN FELIPE is one of the most favoured ships among the ship model builders. The model is elegant, very beautifully designed, and makes a decorative piece of art to be displayed at home or in [...] Read more →

The Late Rev. H.M. Scarth

H. M. Scarth, Rector of Wrington

By the death of Mr. Scarth on the 5th of April, at Tangier, where he had gone for his health’s sake, the familiar form of an old and much valued Member of the Institute has passed away. Harry Mengden Scarth was bron at Staindrop in Durham, [...] Read more →

Classic Restoration of a Spring Tied Upholstered Chair

This video by AT Restoration is the best hands on video I have run across on the basics of classic upholstery. Watch a master at work. Simply amazing.

Tools:

Round needles: https://amzn.to/2S9IhrP Double pointed hand needle: https://amzn.to/3bDmWPp Hand tools: https://amzn.to/2Rytirc Staple gun (for beginner): https://amzn.to/2JZs3x1 Compressor for pneumatic [...] Read more →

A History of the Use of Arsenicals in Man

The arsenicals (compounds which contain the heavy metal element arsenic, As) have a long history of use in man – with both benevolent and malevolent intent. The name ‘arsenic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘arsenikon’ which means ‘potent'”. As early as 2000 BC, arsenic trioxide, obtained from smelting copper, was used [...] Read more →

Books Condemned to be Burnt

BOOKS CONDEMNED TO BE BURNT.

By

JAMES ANSON FARRER,

LONDON

ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW

1892

———-

WHEN did books first come to be burnt in England by the common hangman, and what was [...] Read more →

U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act – Full Text

UNITED STATES PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION ACT

TITLE I – PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION OFFICE Chapter Section 1. Organization and Publications . 1 2. Legal Provisions as to the Plant Variety Protection Office . 21 3. Plant Variety Protection Fees . 31

CHAPTER 1.-ORGANIZATION AND PUBLICATIONS Section 1. Establishment.2 There is [...] Read more →

The Master of Hounds

Photo Caption: The Marquis of Zetland, KC, PC – otherwise known as Lawrence Dundas Son of: John Charles Dundas and: Margaret Matilda Talbot born: Friday 16 August 1844 died: Monday 11 March 1929 at Aske Hall Occupation: M.P. for Richmond Viceroy of Ireland Vice Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Lord – in – Waiting [...] Read more →

Here’s Many a Year to You

” Here’s many a year to you ! Sportsmen who’ve ridden life straight. Here’s all good cheer to you ! Luck to you early and late.

Here’s to the best of you ! You with the blood and the nerve. Here’s to the rest of you ! What of a weak moment’s swerve ? [...] Read more →

The Hunt Saboteur

The Hunt Saboteur is a national disgrace barking out loud, black mask on her face get those dogs off, get them off she did yell until a swift kick from me mare her voice it did quell and sent the Hunt Saboteur scurrying up vale to the full cry of hounds drowning out her [...] Read more →

The Billesden Coplow Run

Smith, Charles Loraine; The Billesdon Coplow Run, Leicestershire

*note – Billesdon and Billesden have both been used to name the hunt.

BILLESDEN COPLOW POEM

[From “Reminiscences of the late Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq”]

The run celebrated in the following verses took place on the 24th of February, 1800, [...] Read more →

The Kalmar War

The Kalmar War

From The Historian’s History of the World (In 25 Volumes) by Henry Smith William L.L.D. – Vol. XVI.(Scandinavia) Pg. 308-310

The northern part of the Scandinavian peninsula, as already noticed, had been peopled from the remotest times by nomadic tribes called Finns or Cwenas by the Norwegians and Lapps [...] Read more →