Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Removing outer layer of book covers

Removing outer layer of book covers

From: Peter David Verheyen <pdv1>
Date: Thursday, July 14, 1994
Re Lifting cover art, Claudia Stall <cstall [at] library__sdsu__edu> writes:

>... I want to replace the boards with acid free stock then reapply the
>photograph or other original cover.  The problem is that on
>the front cardboard cover (and sometimes the back as well) the paper is
>glued directly to it. I can't seem to find a way to remove the paper
>without tearing it.

The best way to do this from my experience is mechanically and dry. An
old, but still sharp paring knife and/or teflon spatula or bamboo
spatula will work well for this. Trim a hair off all sides of the board,
and begin at a corner. I helps to take some of the original board with
the covering material as it helps support the covering paper or thin
cloth. Just go at is slowly and with little pushing, using a slicing
motion. Always be aware of where your tool is. Take your time. Once off,
any nubbly bits can be scraped/sanded off. The lifted piece can then be
reapplied to a new case.

The reason not to use water either straight or in solution with
methylcellulose (I'm not familiar with the product mentioned) is that
the papers and older cloths used to cover books often have no wet
strength. Also the cloth is starch filled, dyes *will* run... It's a
mess. Another alternative, is to take color laser copies which do a
fantastic job on black and white photos and then tip them in. It is also
a way to reproduce color covers as well. The image is not resistant to
scuffing and will wear, but could be protected behind a mylar

Hope this helps. If others have different tips I'd love to hear about

Peter D. Verheyen
Rare Books Conservator
B-39 Olin Library
Cornell University Library
Ithaca, NY 14853

                   Conservation DistList Instance 8:8
                  Distributed: Tuesday, July 19, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-8-003
Received on Thursday, 14 July, 1994

[Search all CoOL documents]