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THE COVER PAPER PROJECT
A short background history by Christopher Clarkson
Preamble: As book conservators we find ourselves in a tragic situation; the most common covering materials we use, leather & bookcloth cannot be guaranteed longer than 30 to 50 years. An actual period text-block may have taken several 100’s of hours to treat, with the 100s of thousands of period books requiring attention, where is the sense in using such short life materials, it is like running backwards. This project is obviously not about replacing leather & bookcloth with paper, but where a cover paper is appropriate we need to understand the qualities & techniques required for it to last many generations.