quinta-feira, 8 de março de 2007

Conservation of Books and Documents

W. H. Langwell, The Conservation of Books and Documents, London, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., 1957


  • Early History of Paper-Making 1
  • Modern Paper 6
  • Causes of Damage to Paper 20
  • Prevention of Damage to Paper 34
  • Parchment and Vellum 43
  • Inks 46
  • Sewing Materials 58
  • Adhesives 62
  • Other Bookbinding Materials 82
  • Binding Techniques 91


As a professional chemist and an amateur bookbinder I have had, on many occasions, to discuss bookbinding technique and similar matters with professional archivists, librarians and bookbinders, all of whom have shown unvarying courtesy and willingness to help. As a result of this exchange of information for so it naturally became I realized that, if the chemist was often ignorant of what was common knowledge to the archivist and librarian, the latter were often equally ignorant of current chemical knowledge, especially as regards die natural and unnatural deterioration of the archivist's chief material paper.

This book is an attempt to repay die archivist's help by offering him a contribution “in kind”; by offering him some of the chemist's common knowledge on the properties of paper and other bookbinding materials, more particularly as regards their permanence. I hope in this way to be as much use to them as they have been to me. The materials and methods described are intended not so much for the trade binder, though he may find something of interest, as for the archivist and librarian who deal mainly with documents and need to bind only a few rather special books.

When cost is important die methods of die trade binder will normally be used but when permanence is the chief criterion some modification of the usual technique may be called for. I hope this book will remove most of the prevailing uncertainties in this field and that those who are responsible for records of all kinds will have fewer misgivings regarding the attitude of their successors to their work.

The data in this book has been drawn from many sources and only to a limited extent from my own work. I should like to acknowledge my indebtedness for such assistance where I have not specifically referred to it in die text. In particular I should like to thank Roger Ellis, Dr. C. H. Thompson and John Dent, without whose encouragement and help this book would never have been started, and Doris Chilman, without whose help it would never have been finished.

I hope readers will be good enough to point out inaccuracies and omissions, of which there must be many in a first edition, so that if a second edition is required these can be corrected.

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