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Q: book display ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: book display
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: halek-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 09 Jul 2006 23:43 PDT
Expires: 08 Aug 2006 23:43 PDT
Question ID: 744830
I just received a 1943 edition of the Webster's international
unabridged dictionary which I would like to display on a stand.  All
of the dictionary stands I've found are flat, and I wonder if that is
best for an old binder on a large old book.  So, my question: What is
the proper way to display and use a large old book.
Subject: Re: book display
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 10 Jul 2006 01:17 PDT
Dear halek-ga,

I am a regular user of archives and libraries and from my own personal
knowledge I can confirm the below is common practice.

You first need an acid-free, archive quality box to store the book
when it is not being used. When handling, you should always wear
light-weight, white cotton gloves. The book should be displayed on a
cradle, support or cushion so it is not opened more than 120-135
degrees, and certainly no more than the binding allows. Some book
supports come with a strap which will hold the pages in place.

The Library Preservation web site at Harvard has some excellent
information on all matters of conservation and preservation of archive
material. Apart from the specific document referred to further below,
you will find much more information on this link.

One fact sheet on their site deals with the ?Environmental Conditions
for Exhibiting Library and Archival Materials?

I recommend you read this in full, particularly page 12 which has
specific guidance on displaying bound books. This is the first
paragraph of that section.

?8.4.1 Angle of Opening
Bound volumes should be opened only as far as the binding allows
without force. The angle of opening should not cause strain to the
binding, the paper, or the sewing. Common practice is to open bound
volumes no greater than 135 degrees. The angle of opening should not
cause paper to fold sharply.?

I presume you are in the US, so these are some suppliers of these
products. These companies are mentioned on the Harvard web site

Various Book Support Systems

Book supports


This is from a UK company.
Book Support System

I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Thank you
Subject: Re: book display
From: myoarin-ga on 10 Jul 2006 02:21 PDT
That is certainly correct information.  However, if the dictionary has
been used, it probably will lie flat with no strain on the binding. 
If it is displayed open at 135°, the pages will tend to slide down to
the middle.  Also, if it is displayed on a slanted stand, unless the
foot of the pages are supported, they will sag.

It is a delightful and still useful dictionary, but not a museum
piece.  This seems to be a similar but 3 volume edition, found on abe

"Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language with
Reference History(3 vol. set)
Webster, Noah
Anbieter: Princeton Antiques Bookshop
(Atlantic City, NJ, U.S.A.) 	Preis: EUR 180.82   [ca. us$ 250]
[Währung umrechnen] 	Versand nach USA:
EUR 4.29

Buchbeschreibung: SPRINGFIELD G. & C. MERRIAM COMPANY 1943., 1943.
GOOD. unabridged, fading gold letters and gilt on spine, gold letters
and gilt on front cover, slight foxing on inpapers, illustrations DATE
RED. 3570 pp. 12X9. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 033803

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