[Northkeep] Binding newsletters

Marc Carlson marccarlson20 at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 31 23:05:23 PST 2004

>From: "D. Vandever" <hlannes at ev1.net>
> > It's fairly straightforward.  I pull the staples, and then each separate
> > issue is treated as a signature
>Signature? I'm not sure what you mean by this.

No problem.  Find a regularly bound hardback book.  Looking at it end on you 
will see that it is made up of small groups of pages folded together.  These 
are called signatures.

> >Generally I've used a variety of different medieval techniques
> > and styles.
>Such as? I'm completely ignorant of bookbinding techniques. Please

Some of them have the signatures stitched together, most have them sewn to 
strips of parchment, skin or even cords (the cords were what are used when 
you see old books with ridges across the spine, although in later style 
bindings the ridges are retained as a decorative motif without being a 
structural part of the book).

Covers are wood, pasteboard, parchment or even left without covers.

>>De-acidifying is no big deal, it's just messy and can get you wrinkled 
>How do you "de-acidify" your paper? I've found a number of products on the
>market and on-line that claim to do this but are fairly expensive. Donnel 
>the Steppes has told me about something she found that seems less expensive
>but I haven't gotten any of it yet. The kingdom files are aging daily and
>some of it is pretty irreplaceable. I've been debating for some time how 
>what to do about it.

The least expensive method is to put a quart or so of carbonated water (not 
tonic water though), in a small pan, and add a half a cup or so of milk of 
magnesia (let me see if I can find my notes to check the measures exactly 
though).  Soak the paper in that for a few seconds, take the sheet out and 
let it dry.  It will stop the acidity, although it won't reverse any damage 
the paper has already taken.

If you can find a letter press (or even a couple of boards and some bricks), 
you can try flattening the paper when it is nearly dry.

Be sure you get rid of any any staples, metal paper clips, etc.   Scotch 
tape should be carefully removed.  You may want to also look at how things 
are stored.  Acid free boxes, folders and whatnot can all help slow the 
decay of old papers.  But unless the stuff is on acid free paper, with non 
acidic ink, you can never stop it altogether.


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