The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 1
Feb 1989


To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Peter Jermann's letter in the November 1988 AN regarding phase box closure problems with Velcro. We had the same problems when we first began making phase boxes at Princeton five or six years ago, and after many failures, cane up with an easy solution. We continue to use self-adhesive Velcro velcoins (although we'd like to try using magnetized strips in the future), but rivet one of the "mates" to the board, and adhere the other one on a buckram strip. Our design uses two buckram strips which are sandwiched between the horizontal and vertical boards, extending to half the thickness of the box (similar to the oriental style closure except Velcro instead of a bone clasp). On this strip is one of the velcoins, and the other mate is on the box. The velcoins on the box are pierced in the middle with an awl, and then a rivet is inserted and hammered into place. The rivet is hammered with one or two blows and lies completely flat. The velcoin will not come off now! And, since the mate is on a flexible piece of cloth, the velcoins separate in a gently "peeling" action, so its own adhesive holds very well.

These closures do not come off after five years' experience and over 500 boxes constructed a year to many different kinds of collections. The extra "rivet" maneuver is very quick, and the rivets can be purchased at any hardware store.

IllustrationIt would be easy to "repair" your existing boxes which already have velcoins in place in this manner. Best of luck.

Susan Sayre Batton
Head of Treatments
Princeton Univ. Library

To the Editor:

Regarding the recent articles on magnetized rubber strips used for enclosures, one very important consideration should be noted. These strips are convenient, but when they come in contact with computers and diskettes the magnets can scramble or erase sections. I have therefore stamped on the outside of the box or folder the following:


Keep Away from Computers and Diskettes

Enclosures for magnetic media in the library's collection are constructed with Velcro or some other alternative fastener.

(By the way, paper clips stored in magnetized paper clip holders, electromagnetized ringers in telephone systems, and tray tables in airplanes are also capable of damaging diskettes.)

Mary Reinsch Chase
Getty Center Library

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