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How to Prevent and Reverse Foxing in Rare Books in 2019

By Kristin Masters. Apr 23, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Book Care

There is never a wrong time to think about the effects of moisture and humidity on rare books. Just as too much sun can damage your rare books, so can too much moisture. And we'’re not just talking about direct moisture, such as liquid spills. The relative humidity of the air is also a concern. Excess humidity (usually relative humidity above 75%) can encourage the growth of fungi and mildew, which can lead to foxing. If foxing occurs, what are the best ways to reverse it? Better yet, how can you prevent foxing in your rare books?

     
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VLOG: Seven Videos On the Art of Making Books By Hand

By Matt Reimann. Sep 13, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fine Press, Book History, Book Making, Book Care

Some historians consider the printing press the most important invention of the first millennium. Still, the march of technology has since made the innovative device obsolete. Spreading the written word is easier and cheaper than ever before. And it is for this natural and understandable reason we have grown distant from the remarkable labor and beauty involved in printing by hand.

     
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How To Beat the Bookworm in 2019

By Abigail Wheetley. Feb 25, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Care

What is a bookworm, anyway? Is it the baby of a beetle? A living creature that loves books? A larvae placed there by a moth? Why do we care, again?

If you're interested in learning more about how to identify and beat the bookworm in order to keep your books and collection safe, you're in the right place. Read on for our best bookworm-busting strategies.

     
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New or Used: A Glossary of Book Condition Terms, Part III

By Katie Behrens. Apr 9, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book Care

For those at the beginning of their collecting life, it can seem like sales descriptions are filled with confusing jargon. A whole set of terms exist to identify an item’s condition and features. Taken together with our other glossaries, we hope this list of book condition terms will help you kick-start your book collecting efforts.

     
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Caring for Rare Books Bound in Vellum

By Matt Reimann. Mar 14, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Care, Learn About Books

Vellum is a printing material which was used as early as 2000 BC. It frequently appears in old, rare books as well as maps, deeds, and other important documents. It is valued for its distinct feel and assumed nobility. Gutenberg printed bibles with it; the Declaration of Independence is written on it; and the UK still prints its Acts of Parliament on vellum for archival purposes. Read on for a brief history of vellum and some insight into vellum preservation best practices.

     
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Caring for Handwritten Documents

By Matt Reimann. Jan 5, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Care, Learn About Books

Handwritten documents belong to a special part of a branch of print-collecting called ephemera. The Ephemera Society of the United Kingdom defines such artifacts as "the minor transient documents of everyday life." Ephemera encompass everything from leaflets to tickets to trading cards. There is a particular challenge in the preservation of ephemera, as ephemera are not made to last beyond their brief application. This often means that the materials used are less durable than those of a typical book. Thus, there is a gleeful rebellion in the act of preserving ephemera. While the documents were intended to be discarded, as the collector, it's your duty to ensure it lasts through the ages.

     
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Collecting Rare Books FAQ: Ex-Library Copies

If you've taken up rare book collecting, you've probably encountered the phrase “ex-library copy” or seen the shorthand “ex-lib” in a book description. Collectors have varied reactions to the ex-library copy, and it's important to make an informed decision before you add ex-library copies to your own personal library.

     
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Ghosting and Sunning and Foxing, Oh My!

By Kristin Masters. May 18, 2014. 8:40 PM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Care

If you're new to the world of book collecting, you've undoubtedly encountered plenty of jargon already. Rare and antiquarian book dealers often painstakingly describe a book's condition because it's such an important aspect of the book's value. Reputable dealers are as accurate as possible in their descriptions, and it's not unusual to run into the terms "ghosting," "sunning," and "foxing," all of which refer to different causes of discoloration to paper. 

     
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Between the Covers - Reflections of a Bookbinder and Artist

By Kristin Masters. Sep 17, 2013. 1:02 PM.

Topics: Book Care

As an apprentice to the craft of binding and restoring rare books, the author discovered “the sense of pride that comes from being part of a lineage stronger than blood and the responsibility of passing on that craft to the next heir.”

By the time I reached the University of Oklahoma library, I was already thirty minutes late. I took the elevator to the fifth floor, using the time to quietly think of an acceptable excuse. 

     
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Meet Steve Berry, Bestselling Author & Preservation Week's National Spokesperson

By Kristin Masters. Apr 22, 2013. 1:29 PM.

Topics: Book Care, Book News

Today we celebrate Preservation Week! Organized by the American Library Association (ALA), the event reminds us of the importance of preserving not only our personal past, but also the vast resources of our libraries. In 2005, a comprehensive national survey showed that US institutions hold over 4.8 billion items, 63% of which are in libraries. Uncounted items held by individuals also include books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, ephemera, audio recordings, and objects.

     
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About this blog

How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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