In response to Steve Frank's query, Michael Sullivan submitted these thoughts on leather bindings.
A bookbinder who specializes in RESTORATION (critical point) could recolor
the leather assuming the material has not dried out. Once the leather
dries out, rebinding is a much better long-term solution.
Regarding the risk of light exposure to one's collection, I have taken
numerous precautions to ensure the important and rare 19th century
literature in my collection is protected from any sunlight exposure
including bookcase placement and archival acid-free storage boxes.
Most recently I went one step further and had a variety of windows in my house covered with ceramic film. The film eliminates 99% of the UV light
(high risk), reduces heat in the house (go green), and is removable in the
Unlike older films which simultaneously made the house interior
dark, the newer high-tech films only reduce light and color contrast by
roughly 10% .....hardly noticeable after a couple of days. A 6-foot by
4-foot window cost roughly $300 to cover, which is much less than the cost to repair a single leather binding.
So ...... a bit of prevention can be a great investment.
Kim Ghobrial adds:
I've used RenWax on my leather covered books, as it can be used for this, besides coins or other artifacts.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
QUERY: RESTORING LEATHER BOOK COVERS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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