From the Archives: Preservation Week’s Detached Book Boards

PreservationWk_MONIt’s preservation week! An entire week dedicated to discussing the concerns and solutions regarding preservation of rare books and unique collections. Here in the Archives & Special Collections at the University of Puget Sound, we’ll be showing you some common preservation concerns, highlighting our own collections.

Detached Book Boards:

The term book “board” originated from the time when book covers were made of wood in the fifth century and onwards. In the modern day, these boards are typically made of stiff cardboard or paperboard. However, due to environmental factors and mishandling, these boards can become misshapen and even detach, such as in the example below. Tips to prevent this from happening include proper shelving, never pulling a book off a shelf by its spine, and proper storage conditions. In the case of misshapen boards, books can be placed under a moderate weight for several days. Detached boards and torn spines are, however, more difficult to treat. In specific cases, a small amount of paste, PVA, or Japanese tissue with wheat starch paste can repair or reinforce these mishaps, but you want to talk to a professional conservator for that. The joints of books and their boards are the areas that take on the most stress, making them even more susceptible to weakness, so be careful!


By Monica Patterson

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