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Subject: Joint action on burst bindings

Joint action on burst bindings

From: Peter Graham <psgraham>
Date: Thursday, February 17, 1994
A few months ago I posted a query here on the nature of certain glued
bindings.  I received several informative replies which identified this
modern binding type as "burst binding", or sometimes "perfo-punch
adhesive" binding.  I quote from one entertaining description:

    "...A burst binding is composed of signatures.  But the folds are
    then slit (typically 1/2-inch-long slit, then about 1/1-inch of
    fold, then 1/2-inch slit, etc.).  Then glue is shot at the spine of
    the textblock so that (if you are a True Believer) the adhesive will
    penetrate the slits to the very center of the volume...."

Each respondent has indicated that the technique is inferior and that
the glue is not likely to last.

My query:  has this received general attention?  Have books bound in
this way been observed (yet) to fall apart under stress more than a sewn
binding?  Has the preservation community considered concerted action,
such as communicating with publishers as to why they are using it, what
their cost differences are, what life expectancies they assume, and the

I have been sensitized to the technique since I first observed it and
find that major publishers, e.g. Cambridge U.P. and Oxford U.P., are
routinely using the technique for their scholarly books.  It might be
useful to have a census done of publishers using it, and then begin
discussing with publishers (if warranted) what can be done to change
their minds.  The example of the permanent paper success comes to mind.
Is there an appropriate conservation body that might be interested in
this?  --pg

Peter Graham
Rutgers University Libraries
169 College Ave.,
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Fax: 908-932-5888

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:60
                Distributed: Thursday, February 17, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-7-60-008
Received on Thursday, 17 February, 1994

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