Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Solander box ( Solander book-box portfolio )

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A more or less elaborate book or document box invented by Dr. Daniel Charles Solander, a botanist, during his tenure at the British Museum (1773-1782). The Solander box, which is generally of a drop-back construction. is made of wood, has dovetailed joints and a back shaped from a single piece of wood. The top and bottom are held in place by screws and glue. The box is secured by two spring catches fixed in the "fore edge" frames near the head and tail. When properly constructed the Solander box is very nearly dustproof and almost waterproof. The box. which can be made as elaborate as the maker desires, is generally covered in cloth, or, in more elaborate instances, full morocco. It may even have raised bands on the back (corresponding to the spine of a book) and may he tooled.

The drop-back Solander is intended to house a book. For document storage, specifically to facilitate removal from the box, a drop-front box may actually be preferable, although in a strict sense it may be argued that such an arrangement is not really a Solander box. Aside from this, however, the drop-back box has a distinct advantage over the drop-front type in that the former imposes virtually no strain on the hinge of the box because it is in a right-angle position when closed and assumes a straight line position when opened. The drop-front box. on the other hand, with its fixed back, strains the hinge at the hack because of the approximate 60' angle at the top when the box is open. If the top is accidently struck when the box is open the top may break off. (155 )

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