Recently, acquisitions of the library of the Canadian Centre for Architecture 
(CCA) seem to include more and more ''perfect'' bindings (adhesive bindings).  
CCA would prefer to buy more durable books, but if the content of a book is 
good, we need to add it to our collection even if the binding quality is poor. 
As a result, Conservation receives more and more broken adhesive bindings.  
Sometimes the text block has split away, fully or in part, from the spine.  
Sometimes the strip of spine adhesive has broken along the centre of the spine 
and the book flops open along this break. Sometimes individual pages simply 
begin to fall out, although the spine and text block have not broken apart.

We try to reduce the chances of damage by providing the library with a few 
consultation cradles which lightly squeeze the spine together while the pages 
fall in open in an arc over the curved ''wings'' of the book cradle; however, 
these cradles only fit bindings of a certain spine width.  And we haven't made 
enough of them for all the book consultations that are taking place.

Our books are valued as real CCA collection materials, to be preserved as 
objects.  They are not acquired only for their information value.  But I don't 
know what to do about the deterioration of these poor quality bindings.

How do other book collections deal with this problem?  Do some libraries still 
try not to buy poor quality adhesive bindings? Do any libraries send poor 
quality bindings out to be commercially rebound when they are purchased?  (We 
haven't done that here for 20 years and I don't even know if a service still 
exists for it.)  Do some of you have staff trained in book conservation and 
repair. (We no longer do.).  Do you send damaged books out to a book 
conservator?  Does your paper conservation staff just do its best to repair 
these books?  Is there a workshop somewhere for paper conservators to learn 
basic book treatment techniques? Do the books simply remain broken?

And - is there a library conservation discussion list that I should know about, 
where I could submit my questions?


Karen Potje
Chef, Conservation/Restauration
Head, Conservation/Preservation
Centre Canadien d'Architecture
1920, rue Baile, Montréal, Québec
Canada H3H 2S6

514 939 7001 x 1236<>

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