The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 8, February 20, 2005, Article 18


Alan Luedeking writes: "Regarding David Gracey's odd couple,
Medina was not averse to lumping his works together on occasion;
I recently parted with a volume which was a marriage between
Medina's "Monedas Coloniales Hispano-Americanas" (his most
famous and important work) and "Monedas Coloniales de Chile,"
also an important work for its original documentation. Even
though they went well together, it bothered me to have them both
in one binding (nicely bound, too), so I sent them packing as soon
as I had obtained each in separate original bindings. David's work,
"Medallas Coloniales Hispano-Americanas" (1900) is sometimes
found bound together with its supplement, "Medallas Coloniales
Hispano-Americanas: Nuevos Materiales Para su Estudio" (1919),
where, being soul-mates, the two-in-one binding is not a bad thing;
the other partner in David's pair, "Las Medallas Chilenas" is really
the companion volume to "Las Monedas Chilenas" which were
originally written as José Toribio Medina's doctoral thesis in law,
but these were always bound separately as they are each hefty
tomes. In David's case, given that the two works in question
1) were issued separately (1901 and 1900),
2) the binding is cheap and in bad shape, and
3) 'Medallas Chilenas' is an important work with much excellent

I say, rip it apart, open it up, and rebind it. Hopefully, the
original card covers and half titles are still present."

Ralf Boepple writes: "On the question of keeping books in their
original condition, here is what I have learned from a curator of
the Württembergische Landesbibliothek a couple of years ago:

If the binding is damaged to the extent that it neither can be
restored nor can be used without inflicting further damage, there
are two ways to follow.

If the book is important less for its content but for itself, as a
document of the state of the art of its time, leave it as it is. Put
it in a tightly-fit box, so that it will not suffer further damage
from storing, and see that it is put flat on a shelf, not in upright

If you would like to use the content, that is, read it and use
it for research, then have it rebound. Here it is up to the
owner to decide how to do it. From a bibliophile's view,
it may be wise to have it rebound in a style and in material
as close to that of the original. Of course - and the book
dealers out there will surely know more about it than I do
- an original will always be worth more than a second
binding, but then in our case the original was gone anyway.
You won't make a vf coin uncirculated, either.

If you have one damaged book in a set of many, you may
try to have it rebound as close to the others. It won't be
the same, but still better than not being able to use the
volume at all for fear of seeing it fall apart completely.

David Gracey's story of his Medina book took me by
surprise. As I understand it, he has two books bound
together, one opened and one still uncut. I always
understood that in order to bind a book you have to
ut the pages, so I wonder how that one came into

Bill Murray writes: "I've been out-of-pocket for about
three weeks, but recent issues of The E-Sylum have
discussed the rights and wrongs of binding, rebinding
or leaving collectible books as is. I'm no bibliomaniac
expert, or any other kind for that matter, but I have my
own strong opinion about one volume in my library.

At The Elongated Collectors at the ANA convention in
Miami Beach in 1974, I was sitting next to Max Schwarz.
Right in front of us was Dottie Dow, elongated expert
and author of The Elongated Collector, a 1965 book
then out of print. I leaned over Dottie's shoulder to ask if
she knew where I could get a copy. Her answer was no,
but a few minutes later she turned back around and said
she had an incomplete, unbound copy she could send me
with reproduced copies of the missing pages. I asked
her to do so. Max, at that moment, asked if she could
send him such a copy, to which she replied yes.

When my copy arrived. though unbound as promised,
it was enclosed in the dust cover. I cherish that book
in just the way I received it. I wonder whatever may
have happened to Max's copy.

To each his own."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address:

To subscribe go to:
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.



Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster