Minimally bindings that are broken or weak should be tied with white,
flat, cotton twill tape to keep the covers and spine pieces from being separated
from the textblocks. A volume should be tied so that the bow or knot is
positioned across the fore edge (opposite the spine) rather than on the front or
back cover, so that the resulting "bump" will not interfere with good shelving
practices. The volumes should be tied securely (but not so tightly that
distortion results), with the tape flat as it wraps around the volume. The
cotton twill tape should be tied so that it can be easily untied (without being
cut) and reused. (See Figure 6.)
Boxing is an alternative for damaged volumes that provides greater
protection than does tying. Bound materials that are valuable and/or in poor
condition should be scheduled for boxing and/or repair. A variety of phased and
drop-spine boxes can be constructed or purchased, the type of box depending on
the value and condition of the bound materials. Supervisors should be consulted
regarding the need for laboratory treatment or boxing of bound records.
Tie weak or damaged volumes with white cotton twill tape as an interim
preservation measure. Roughly measure the twill tape by eye so that it is
approximately twice the length, width, and thickness of the volume. Wrap the
twill tape around the length of the volume, cross it over on itself on the front
or back cover, wrap it around the width of the volume, and then tie it across
the fore edge. Tie the twill tape securely, but not so tightly that the volume
is distorted or crimped at the edges. Make sure that the twill tape lies flat on
all binding surfaces.
Ideally, large, heavy volumes should be shelved horizontally rather than
vertically, as this method of storage provides greater protection and support
for textblocks and binding structures. When possible, shelves should be adjusted
so that oversize bound materials are stacked no more than three or four volumes
high, depending on their thickness, to expedite safe retrieval and reshelving
and to avoid the possibility of stacked volumes toppling. Oversize volumes in
poor condition and those having high intrinsic value should be given priority
for flat shelving.
Non-record, loose, acidic inserts such as place markers or cross-reference
forms are often left in bound volumes for many years, with the result that text
pages can become stained and damaged. When encountered, such inserts should be
evaluated to determine whether they are still pertinent. If they contain
important archival information, either they should be reproduced onto archival
bond paper or the information they contain should be hand-copied onto stable
paper or card stock. Staff should consult with supervisors before removing,
copying, or discarding any inserts or enclosures.
When bound records are dusted, textblocks should be held tightly closed to
avoid damaging page edges or working dirt into the interior of the volumes.