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Title: Leather for Libraries
Author: Seymour-Jones, A., Williamson, F. J., Parker, J. Gordon, Hulme, E. Wyndham, Davenport, Cyril
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Leather for Libraries" ***

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[Illustration: (1.) GOAT.]

[Illustration: (2.) SEAL (BOLD GRAIN).]

[Illustration: (3.) SEAL (FINE GRAIN).]

                       LEATHER FOR LIBRARIES.


                  E. WYNDHAM HULME, J. GORDON PARKER,
                           F. J. WILLIAMSON

             Published for the Sound Leather Committee of the
                          Library Association
                        THE LIBRARY SUPPLY Co.,
            Bridge House, 181, Queen Victoria Street, E.C.


                         LIBRARY ASSOCIATION.


     CYRIL DAVENPORT, _British Museum Library_.

     J. P. EDMOND, _Signet Library, Edinburgh_.

     DR. J. GORDON PARKER, _London Leather Industries Laboratory,

     E. WYNDHAM HULME, _Patent Office Library_. (_Hon. Secretary._)


                        CHAPTER I.
    History of Sumach Tanning in England, Degradation of
    the Manufacture of Leather, and History of the Reform
    Movement. By E. WYNDHAM HULME                              5

                        CHAPTER II.
    The Causes of Decay in Bookbinding Leathers. By
    J. GORDON PARKER                                          15

                        CHAPTER III.

    Provenance, Characteristics, and Values of Modern
    Bookbinding Leathers. By A. SEYMOUR-JONES                 29

                        CHAPTER IV.
    The Repairing and Binding of Books for Public Libraries.
    By CYRIL DAVENPORT                                        39

                        CHAPTER V.
    Specification for the Fittings of a Small Bindery. By
    F. J. WILLIAMSON                                          51

    INDEX                                                     55

                      _The Bancroft Library_
                   University of California · Berkeley

                        THE ROGER LEVENSON
                          MEMORIAL FUND

                              CHAPTER I.

                       History of Sumach Tanning
                    in England, Degradation of the
                  Manufacture of Leather, and History
                        of the Reform Movement.


                           E. WYNDHAM HULME.


The section of the leather trade to which this Handbook relates is
that concerned in the manufacture of light leathers tanned with a
pale tannage preparatory to being dyed. Bark and most other vegetable
tanning substances leave a colour on the skin which cannot be removed
without detriment to the durability of the leather; the retention of
the colour, however, detracts from the purity of the final colour
imparted by the dye. The reputation in the past of the sumach-tanned
Spanish leather was founded upon this peculiar property of sumach
of leaving the skin white, and on this point the wisdom of the
ancients has been justified by the results of an exhaustive series of
experiments conducted by the Society of Arts' Committee, which have
given to sumach the first place in the list of tannages for light

The date of the introduction of sumach tanning into England may,
with some show of probability, be assigned to the year 1565, when
a seven years' monopoly patent was granted to two strangers, Roger
Heuxtenbury and Bartholomew Verberick, for the manufacture of
"Spanish or beyond sea leather," on the condition that the patentees
should employ one native apprentice for every foreigner in their
service. This stipulation indicates that the industry was a new one.
Following the custom of the times, the supervision of the industry was
entrusted to the "Wardens of the Company of Leathersellers in London."
Additional evidence of the use of sumach at this period is afforded by
another patent to a Spanish Jew, Roderigo Lopez, one of Elizabeth's
physicians. By way of settling her doctor's bills the Queen granted
to Lopez, in 1584, an exclusive licence to import sumach and aniseed
for ten years. Besides attending the Queen in his professional
capacity, Lopez was called upon to act as interpreter to the Portuguese
pretender, Don Antonio, on his visit to this island. As the result
of some misunderstanding with Antonio, Lopez was induced to join a
conspiracy nominally aimed against the life of Antonio, but actually
directed against the Queen, and in 1594 Lopez expiated his crimes at
Tyburn. Those who are curious in such matters will be interested to
trace in the "Merchant of Venice" the re-appearance of our sumach
merchant as Shylock, while the name of Antonio is boldly retained by
Shakespeare for his hero (Cf. S. Lee, "The Original of Shylock," in
the _Gentleman's Magazine_, 1880). After the arrest of Lopez, his
grant was continued to R. Alexander and R. Mompesson (Patent Roll, 36
Eliz., p. 11). In the Charter of the Leathersellers' Company, dated
1604, "Spanish leather and other leathers dressed or wrought in sumach
or bark" are mentioned. In 1660 the duty granted upon imported sumach
was fixed at 13s. 4d. per cwt. of 112 lbs., and on dried myrobalans
at 1s. 3d. per lb., thus disproving the statement of Prof. Thorold
Rogers in his "History of Prices" (Vol. 5, p. 414), that oak bark was
the only tanning material used in England at this period. The earliest
description known to the writer of the process of sumaching by sewing
up the skins into bottles and allowing the fluid extract to penetrate
the fibre by pressure, is to be found in 1754 in the "Dictionary of
Arts and Science" (Vol. 3, article "Morocco").

The first step in the degradation of the manufacture of light
leathers, though it at first affected the heavy leathers only, was
the introduction of the use of sulphuric acid in 1768 by Dr. McBride
of Dublin (_Phil. Trans._, 1778). By substituting a vitriolic liquor
for the vegetable acids obtained by fermenting bran, rye, or other
cereals, Dr. McBride claimed three advantages: (1) Absolute control
over the degree of acidity of the liquor, whereas organic souring was
troublesome and uncertain; (2) that the skins were "plumped" better
by the acid, and that the danger of injury to skins (by bacterial
action) was avoided; (3) that the process of tanning was materially
shortened. At all events, the Doctor succeeded in convincing first the
Dublin tanners, and shortly afterwards their Bermondsey rivals, of the
superiority of his methods, which, as already stated, were intended
for heavy leathers only (_Encyclopædia Britannica_, 1797, article

Having once established its footing in the tanyard the use of sulphuric
acid was soon further extended. With the introduction of aniline
dyestuffs about 1870 sulphuric acid came into universal use as a means
of clearing the skin before entering the dyebath. The effect of the
introduction of the coal-tar colours was to revolutionise the dyeing
of leather. Under the old _régime_ of the vegetable dyestuffs the few
standard shades of red, blue, olive, yellow, and black were obtained
on moroccos mordanted with alum, while bark-tanned calf and sheep
skins were, as a rule, left in their natural browns and ornamented
by sprinkling or marbling. The wide range of colours offered by the
new dyestuffs fascinated the public, which accepted the new leathers
without question as to their durability. Librarians began to insist
upon accuracy and uniformity of shade, regardless of the methods by
which these results were obtained. Yet, apart from the question of
durability, it is clear that brilliancy of colour has been purchased
at too high a price. Under the old system of dyeing a thin superficial
layer of colour was laid over the natural white of the skin, thereby
obtaining a variety and depth of colour which is in striking contrast
to the dead uniformity of the colours of modern acid-bitten leathers.
Hence the reform of the manufacture of the light leathers is supported
by æsthetic as well as by practical considerations.

Passing from the domain of chemistry to that of mechanics, the
Committee of the Society of Arts has emphasized the need of a return
to sounder and less ruinous methods of dealing with leather; but
their recommendations are so clearly set out in their Report that it
is proposed here to touch upon one point only, viz., the artificial
graining of leather. The Committee remark that, whereas many examples
of sound sheepskin, dating from the 15th century to the early part of
the 19th century, had been brought to their notice, "since about 1860
sheepskin as sheepskin is hardly to be found." Now, the decoration of
leather by the impression of patterns by mechanical pressure had long
been known, the lozenge pattern of early russia leather having been
effected in the 18th century by means of engraved steel cylinders.
But in 1851 it occurred to an ingenious mechanic that, by means of
the electroplate process, an exact reproduction of the grain of the
higher-priced skins might be communicated to sheepskin or other
inferior leather whereby the selling value of the latter would be
considerably enhanced (Cf. Bernard's Patent Specification 13,808 of
1851, and a modification of the same process in No. 2,391 of 1855).
From this date, therefore, sheepskin disappears from view only to
reappear as imitation morocco, pigskin, or other higher-priced leather.
So perfectly does the counterfeit skin imitate the original on the
bound volume that the two can only be distinguished with certainty by
microscopic examination. Librarians, therefore, must bear in mind that
a familiarity with the natural characteristics of the ordinary binding
leathers is no safe guide to the character of the leather of a binding.
The utmost that can be said is that the leather is either genuine or
else a remarkably good counterfeit, a conclusion which, it is hardly
necessary to say, is not one of great value in practice.

As might have been supposed, the rapid decay of leather bindings in the
19th century, resulting from a combination of the above malpractices,
with the attendant evils of heavy outlay upon rebinding, cropped
margins, and ill-matched sets upon the shelves, from time to time
attracted the attention of booklovers and bookbinders; but their
efforts to determine the causes of the deterioration and to find a
remedy have until recently met with very little success. In 1842 the
subject was investigated by Professors Faraday, Brande, and others on
behalf of the Athenæum Club. This committee is largely responsible for
the "sulphur in gas" theory--a theory which was never wholly true, even
at a period when the percentage of sulphur in coal gas was much higher
than at present (Cf. _Journal of the Society of Arts_, 1850-59, p.
215), and which now has ceased to have any practical bearing upon the
matter. It should be noted that, in 1851, Crace Calvert, the well-known
Manchester chemist, came to a different conclusion. After pointing
out that decay in leather was observable in libraries, such as the
Chetham Library, in which gas had never been used, he stated that the
presence of sulphuric acid in leather bindings was attributable to one
or more of three causes: (_a_) to the pollution of the atmosphere by
consumption of coal in the Manchester factories; (_b_) to the action
of gas fumes in unventilated rooms; (_c_) to the use of sulphuric acid
by the tanners; and he further expressed his opinion that the seat
of the disease would be found in irregularities in the processes of
tanning--in other words, that the disease was aggravated rather than
originated by these first two causes (Cf. _Trans. Society of Arts_,
Vol. 51, pp. 120-22). Calvert's views, however, met with very little
support. In 1877, at the Conference of Librarians in London, a proposal
was made that a committee of librarians and chemists should deal
with the matter, but no effect was given to the proposal. Ten years
later a series of experiments on the action of gas fumes and heat was
undertaken on behalf of the Birmingham Library by Mr. C. T. Woodward
(_Library Chronicle_, 1887, pp. 25-29). Strips of leather exposed
for 1,000 hours to the action of gas fumes, at temperatures of 130°
and 140° Fahrenheit, showed a mean absorption of sulphuric acid of
1·78 per cent., accompanied by a marked reduction in their stretching
capacity and breaking strain. The experiments on the action of heat
alone were regarded as inconclusive. Mr. Woodward suggested that the
Library Association should undertake the testing of leathers, and that
librarians should thereafter employ only leather of a given standard;
but once more nothing was done. In the meantime the reputation of
leather as a binding material continued to dwindle; one leather after
another was tried, found wanting, and excluded from library practice,
while various leather substitutes--buckram, art linen, and imitation
leathers, gradually took its place. It is due to the efforts of Dr.
Parker and Prof. Procter between 1898 and 1900 that the real facts of
the case have been brought to light. In the latter years an agitation
in favour of standard leather was set on foot by Lord Cobham, Mr.
Cockerell, Mr. Davenport, and others, which resulted in the appointment
by the Society of Arts of a Committee on Leathers for Bookbinding, the
cost of which was met by a grant from the Leathersellers' Company.

Upon the publication of the first report of the above Committee in 1901
the subject was taken up by the Council of the Library Association,
and after several papers had been read at the monthly meetings in
London and elsewhere, a Committee was appointed to ascertain how far
Members of the Association were prepared to accept a common standard
for binding leathers. For this purpose in March 1904, close upon
1,000 circulars were addressed to the libraries of the United Kingdom
asking for a statement of their views upon the following proposals,
amongst others, viz.: (_a_) that the Council should appoint an official
analyst; (_b_) that they should publish a handbook giving to members of
the Association such information as would enable them to secure sound
leather at a reasonable price. The circular meeting with a favourable
reception, the Council invited Dr. Parker to draw up a scale of fees
for the analysis of leathers, and the scale having been duly approved,
Dr. Parker was at once appointed analyst to the Association.

Since the appointment of the Committee abundant evidence has been
forthcoming that at last the reform of light leathers for bookbinding
and upholstery is now in sight. The efforts of the Committee have been
warmly seconded by the Press. In the recently concluded Government
binding contracts a clause has been inserted enabling any department to
obtain standard leather and rendering the contractor liable to heavy
penalties for infringement of the conditions of this clause; yet the
price paid for bindings in this leather is only fractionally increased.
From the outset the Committee have been assured of the support of the
leading firms of leather manufacturers, who have recognised that, if
leather is to regain the ground which has been lost, it must be by the
adoption of a common standard of manufacture and by the introduction of
honest trade descriptions in the retail trade.

Hence where the provenance of the leather is declared and the method
of its manufacture supported by a written guarantee from the leather
manufacturer, the need for periodical analysis of samples is less
urgent. But where the bookbinder is unwilling or unable to state the
provenance of his leathers recourse to chemical analysis is the only
safeguard. The librarian on his side will materially assist the binder
by limiting his demand to leathers of a few standard shades and by
abstaining from insisting upon accurate matching to pattern. If the
piecing, panelling and lettering of serials is kept uniform, a want of
uniformity in the shade of leather is not of much practical moment.
In the meantime the librarian should keep a vigilant watch for the
following symptoms of deterioration:--

     (_a_) General shabbiness and tenderness of leather, especially at
     parts where the leather is strained over the cords on the back or
     edges of the boards. Probable cause: Sulphuric acid.

     (_b_) Red rot in morocco. On friction the leather turns to a
     red powder. Probable cause: A Persian or East Indian half-bred
     sheepskin has been supplied in place of goat.

     (_c_) Withering of pigskin accompanied by discoloration. Probable
     cause: Over "pulling down" of the skin in the "puering" process.
     If the pigskin has been dyed in a bright shade, acid also is

     (_d_) Deterioration and discoloration of smooth and light-coloured
     calfskins, especially law calf. Probable cause: Use of oxalic acid
     by the bookbinder to remove grease marks, &c.

                             CHAPTER II.

                  The Causes of Decay in Bookbinding


                           J. GORDON PARKER.


Why do modern leather bindings decay? Is it possible to obtain a
leather for bookbinding purposes as good and as durable as the leather
produced from the 16th to 18th century? These are the two problems
which the Committee on Bookbinding Leather appointed by the Society of
Arts set themselves to investigate. Fortunately we are able to solve
both problems.

In the olden days all skins were tanned with a liquor made from
either oak bark or sumach, and in some cases a mixture of the two.
The skins used by the tanner were usually obtained direct from the
butchers. After soaking and cleansing they were then limed for a period
sufficiently long to loosen the hair. After the removal of the hair and
superfluous flesh and fat, the skins were washed in several changes
of fresh soft water to remove the excess of lime, the process being
assisted by working the skins over on a beam with a blunt knife. When
in suitable condition they were brought into sour, old tan liquors.
There was no hurry, the skins being slowly tanned in weak infusions,
and when the process was complete, the leather was simply washed
free from superfluous tan, dyed with wood or other vegetable dyes,
rinsed free from excess of dye-stuff, and dried out. The leather was
afterwards softened by stretching, and polished or glazed by brushing
the skin over with oil, soap, beeswax, or a solution of some moss.
Such leather lacked the high finish, the regular colour, the bright
shades of modern leather, but it lasted fifty or one hundred years
with hard wear, and, under favourable conditions, appears to be almost

The finish, or general appearance, of leather continued to improve up
to about 1850, but after that date some of the bindings examined showed
signs of rapid deterioration in quality. This deterioration increased
on bindings subsequent to 1870, and probably 75 per cent. of the
leather used for bookbinding during the last twenty years either has
already decayed or will do so within a comparatively short time.

Now to deal with the answer to the first question, Why do modern
leather bindings decay? The chief causes are as follows:--

     1. The introduction of tanning materials other than oak and
     sumach, stronger in tanning, and more rapid in their action. Many
     of these tanning materials are unstable, and the leather produced
     disintegrates on exposure to light and air.

     2. The use of dried and cured skins of variable soundness imported
     from abroad. Goat, calf, and sheep skins are imported into this
     country from all over the world; some are simply dried in the sun,
     some salted, whilst others are cured with various ingredients.

     3. The use of infusions of acids and other bleaching agents to
     produce bright and even shades of colour.

     4. The use of sulphuric or other mineral acids for the purpose of
     developing the depth of colour during the process of dyeing.

     5. The shaving and splitting of skin for producing an even

     6. Printing and embossing grains upon leather, together with other
     methods of finishing now in common use.

     7. The stripping, scouring, souring, and re-tanning of East India
     leathers (Persians).

     8. The removal of the natural grease or nourishment of the skin.

These eight causes, although by no means exhaustive, are, however, the
chief factors in the deterioration of modern leather; and in as few
words as possible I will explain the reason of their introduction and

As the industry advanced there were found in different parts of the
world tanning materials other than oak and sumach, some of which
were two, three, or five times as rich in tannin as oak, thus making
infusions of greater strength, and consequently of quicker action,
with the result that leather which formerly required from three to six
months to tan was turned out in almost as many days, or, at the most,
in as many weeks. It was not realised, however, that these different
tanning materials contained tannins of different qualities, capable of
producing quite a different leather to that produced by means of oak
or sumach. The experts who spent months testing and investigating this
question came to the unanimous conclusion that the speed of tannage
or the strength of the tanning liquor had very little to do with the
wearing qualities of the leather produced, but found that some of
these new materials contained tannins of a different chemical nature
from that of sumach, and that they produced leather of an unstable
character, some of the leathers undergoing change in a few hours on
exposure to strong light and air. On the other hand, some of the new
tanning materials produced permanent leathers practically equal to
sumach. Those tanning materials, therefore, which contained tannins
of the catechol series, including the tannins of hemlock, larch,
quebracho, mangrove, gambier, and turwar, were condemned, as all these
materials produce a leather which on exposure to light and air turns
first a red shade of colour and afterwards develops what is now well
known by bookbinders and librarians as the red decay, where the leather
crumbles off on application of friction. On the other hand, tanning
materials of the pyrogallol class, such as sumach, galls, divi-divi,
myrobalans, oak, and chesnut, produce a leather which is practically
unaffected by light or air. Further, it was found in every case where
authentic bindings dating from the 13th century onwards were examined
the tanning material used was one of this pyrogallol series. On the
other hand, leathers which showed the red decay were in every case
found either to have been tanned with tanning materials of the catechol
series, or were rotted with acid.

The second cause of trouble is the manufacture of leather from skins
from distant lands which have been improperly or insufficiently
preserved for export. It often happens that the fibres have partly
perished before the tanner receives the skins, the resulting leather is
therefore poor, spongy, and partially perished, making thin leather,
which sometimes, on account of its thinness, will cut up apparently
economically for the binder, but not economically for the librarian or
the owner of books, as the leather cannot possibly be as good or have
as long life as leather manufactured from a sound skin.

Bright even shades and light fancy colours previous to the introduction
of acid bleaches were manufactured from sumach-tanned skins only,
sumach alone producing a leather of a light cream colour, and
therefore capable of taking practically any shade of dye. Most
other tanning materials produced dark foundations, on which it was
practically impossible to dye any but a dark shade. Gradually, however,
manufacturers found leather tanned with materials cheaper than sumach
could be scoured and bleached with acids, then re-tanned with sumach,
thus producing a light, even-coloured leather, which with the dye
produced light shades. The cheapest, and at the same time the most
effective, acid for this purpose was vitriol or sulphuric acid. This,
in common with other mineral acids, combines with the leather fibre,
upon which it exercises a most disastrous and disintegrating action,
and to the use of this acid, either as a bleaching or clearing agent in
the tanning process, or in subsequent use in developing the colour in
the dye-bath, may be ascribed the cause of decay of over 90 per cent.
of modern bookbinding and upholstering leather. It is impossible to
remove these acids from leather by any subsequent amount of washing,
or without the addition of some other chemical to expel them. Recently
the writer treated some leather with sulphuric acid, and after cutting
the leather up into small pieces, washed the same in running water for
three weeks; at the end of that period the sulphuric acid was still
tightly fixed in the fibres of the leather.

The introduction of aniline dyes instead of the older process of wood
dyes made a great change in the production of bookbinding leather.
Hundreds of new shades of colour were produced, and the process of
leather dyeing was simplified and cheapened. But, unfortunately, in
the use of a certain class of these dye-stuffs the full depth of
shade could not at that date be produced upon the leather except
in the presence of an acid. Here, again, therefore, sulphuric acid
was introduced into the leather during the process of manufacture,
thus increasing the proportion of leather which contained this
disintegrating material. It has frequently been stated by leather dyers
and others that a certain quantity of sulphuric acid must be used with
acid dye-stuffs, otherwise the full depth of shade cannot be produced,
and they claim that without its use it is impossible to produce certain
brilliant shades of colour. These statements have been proved to be
devoid of foundation. There are several substitutes for sulphuric acid
which are harmless in their nature. Among these I may mention formic,
acetic and lactic acids. These are organic acids which have no harmful
action on the leather; they are easily washed out, and even if any
trace of these acids be left in the skin, they will evaporate. Formic
acid has even been proved to be cheaper than sulphuric, and, moreover,
is capable of developing equal shades in all cases, and deeper and more
brilliant shades of colour with some dyes. For the present, however,
bookbinders, and especially librarians, are advised not to insist upon
brilliant shades of colour.

The introduction of the splitting machine and the introduction of a
machine for shaving leather has undoubtedly tended to produce a large
quantity of thin leather, but it is impossible either to shave or to
split a skin without cutting the network of fibres, and the strength
of the leather cannot but be materially decreased. Leather is made up
of a complex system of fibres interweaving and intertwining in every
possible direction, and even the small amount of paring carried out by
the bookbinder himself considerably impairs the strength and life of
the binding. How much more, therefore, does the splitting and shaving
that the tanner carries out in order to bring the skin to an even
substance destroy the strength of the product.

Sufficient has been written on the printing of morocco, seal, and pig
grains upon skins of an inferior class, but it cannot be too strongly
pointed out to librarians that the strength of embossed leather must be
impaired when it is realised how the embossing and printing is carried
out. The skins to be embossed are coated over in the wet state with a
mixture of dye, size, and other materials, and are then passed between
two hot electrotype rollers. This embosses or prints upon the skin the
required grain; at the same time it glues the fibres of the leather
together, preventing the free run which good skins should possess, and
the heat dries up the leather, reducing its strength very considerably.

I now come to the stripping, scouring, souring, and re-tanning of
leather. It is difficult to decide whether more damage is done in
this process or in the use of mineral acids in the dye-bath; but it
is certain that any leather which is stripped of its natural tanning
by use of alkalies or bleached by an acid has lost at least 90 per
cent. of its wearing and lasting properties. Thousands of dozens of
skins in the rough tanned condition reach the English market from
India, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts. These are tanned
with quebracho, mimosa, or some similar tanning material, whereas
the Indian skins are nearly all tanned with turwar bark and are of
a reddish-fawn shade of colour. These are purchased by the leather
finishers, and are manufactured in England. In order to get rid of the
reddish colour they are first soaked in water and afterwards drummed in
a weak solution of washing soda, borax, or some similar alkali. This
removes the uncombined tan from the skin, as well as taking out the
natural grease. The skins emerge from the drum a dark mahogany colour;
they are then washed in water and afterwards soured in a sulphuric acid
bath. This bleaches the skin to a light bright shade. The finisher
then, in order to put back tannin into the skin of a light colour,
re-tans them in sumach or a mixture of sumach and oak. They are now
known as re-tanned skins; and after drying, are dyed and finished in
the ordinary manner. The sheep and goat skins are sold as roans or
moroccos, as the case may be, and, as a rule, no indication is given
that these are re-tanned skins. The re-tanned Indian skins, however,
generally leave the factory as persian roans or persian morocco, but
as the skins pass from the manufacturer to the merchant, from the
merchant to the small dealer, the word "persian" is generally omitted,
and they reach the bookbinder as moroccos or roans, as the case may be.
Now this is the most important point for the binder. I would go so far
as to say that it should almost be a punishable offence to use either
persians or re-tanned skins for bookbinding purposes, as such leather
cannot possibly last ten years if exposed to light and air. Not only
has the scouring and alkali a perishing effect upon the leather, but it
is afterwards made worse by the treatment with acid, a bleach, and the
further addition of acid to the dye-bath; added to which the alkaline
treatment removes the natural grease or nourishment of the skin, and it
is well known to those engaged in the leather trade that the strength
and life of a leather is at least doubled by a proper nourishment of
the leather with a suitable fat. Therefore, if the whole of the natural
fat is removed, the leather rapidly dries, it loses its elasticity and
spring, the grain cracks, and after keeping in a dry library for some
time the backs break right off the books.

I have dealt with the eight chief causes of premature decay, but
before passing to the other part of this paper I must also deal with
the weaknesses of the bookbinder as well as those of the leather
manufacturer, and, for reasons stated above, absolutely condemn the
undue paring of leather, the bleaching of leather by means of oxalic
acid, and the use of patent finishes and glares, the composition of
which is in most cases a mystery, many of them containing acids, others
containing drying agents which have almost as injurious an action upon
leather as the vitriol used by the tanner.

To revert to my original thesis, it is not only possible to obtain
a leather as good as any leather manufactured from the 16th to 18th
century, but it is even possible to get a better leather. Librarians,
in drawing up their binding specifications have only to do what the
Controller of H.M.'s Stationery Office is doing for the libraries under
his charge, viz., to provide under suitable penalties that leathers
supplied by the contractor shall be equal to samples shown on pattern
cards prior to tendering for the contract, and in addition to insist
that such leathers shall conform to certain conditions laid down in the
Report of the Society of Arts' Committee on Bookbinding, which may be
summarised as follows:--

     1. The binder undertakes not to use stripped and re-tanned
     leather, whether persians (East Indian skins) or from elsewhere,
     or to use leather embossed or grained artificially to resemble
     morocco, pigskin, &c.

     2. He guarantees (or undertakes to produce the guarantee of the
     firm supplying the leather) that all skins supplied (1) are
     genuine as described; (2) are tanned with pure sumach or galls,
     or in the case of calf or sheep with oak bark, or mixtures of oak
     bark and sumach; (3) that no mineral acid has been used either in
     the process of tanning, bleaching, or dyeing, and that the leather
     is free from acid or other injurious ingredient; (4) that he will
     use no acid to clear the leather in the process of binding.

Before drafting his binding specification the librarian would do
well to consult the excellent "Note on Bookbinding" by Mr. Douglas
Cockerell, published by W. H. Smith and Son, at the price of 1d.
Special attention is drawn to the difference of the cost in binding
according to Specification I. and II. of the Society of Arts' Committee
reproduced on pp. 20-22 of this pamphlet, and to Mr. Cockerell's
remarks on pages 9, etc.

The above stipulations should not make any substantial difference in
price per volume to those libraries which already have been using
high-class leather tanned in sumach, but librarians who have hitherto
been content with persians, re-tanned Australians, and other cheap
classes of leather must expect to pay a higher price for leather,
properly tanned and guaranteed to last. Several large firms of high
reputation, who are now catering for the bookbinding trade, have
already turned out thousands of skins of a satisfactory nature. These
firms are not only anxious to fall in with the requirements of the
Society of Arts' Report, but are desirous of removing the distrust
which at present exists with regard to leather, and to reinstate
this article as being the standard and natural covering for books.
For permanent wear, whether for books or other purposes, leather,
when properly prepared, is without a rival both for appearance and
durability. It is only for the cheaper class of work that leather
substitutes are formidable as rivals.

With regard to strengths of various leathers, it is somewhat difficult
to lay down a hard-and-fast rule, but in general terms it may be
stated that the strongest leather made is pigskin. The fibres are
tough, somewhat coarse, but of great strength. The only danger is
in the paring down of the skin previous to use in the binding, and
therefore, by reason of its thickness, it is well to only use pigskin
for the binding of large, heavy volumes where a thick leather can be
used without detriment to the appearance of the book. Seal probably
comes next in strength. It is tougher than goat skin, and, by reason
of the quantity of natural grease which these skins contain, will in
most cases remain pliable and wear longer than the average morocco.
Seal is closely followed by goat skin. A special feature of goat is
the hard grain which it possesses. This is specially to be recommended
where much frictional wear is given to the book. Sheep and calf may
be put on about the same footing. Both are extremely pliable, but I
think one may safely state that books bound in sheepskin leather, if
that leather be from the cross breed, Welsh, or other mountain sheep,
will probably outlast calf skin. There is no doubt that calf has got
into disrepute largely on account of the destructive processes used in
the finishing and production of the soft, smooth-grained calf, which
has of late years become so popular. Binders must understand that the
velvety finish can only be obtained by an undue pulling down of the
skin previous to the tanning process or an undue paring on the part of
the binder. Both Russia leather and vellum, as binding materials, have
done good service in the past, but have lost their old reputation for
durability. For the present, librarians are recommended to use these
skins as little as possible. A few words suffice to deal with skiver
bindings. These are the thin grain of sheep and sometimes calf, and are
at their best about equal in strength to thin notepaper, their whole
texture and fibrous structure having been split off and their nature

It must be understood that the deterioration of leather is not only
caused by faulty manufacture or improper treatment in the dye-house or
finishing shop. Good bindings of sound leather are frequently destroyed
by the neglect of certain elementary precautions on the part of the
librarian. The subject is too large to deal with fully in these pages,
but librarians would do well to study carefully the detailed report
of the Society of Arts' Committee. But the following elementary rules
should be observed:--Books should not be exposed to gas fumes, or to
the direct rays of the sun; the temperature of the library should
not exceed 70° F., the upper strata should be well ventilated, and a
thermometer should be hung on the same level as the top shelves in
order to advise the librarian whether the temperature is being kept
within reasonable limits. Freedom from damp is, of course, an essential
condition of library architecture.

The question of leather preservative compositions is dealt with in
another chapter, but too much cannot be said against the use of
various decoctions which are sold to librarians for coating and
preserving leather bindings. Many of these contain turpentine, which
has a drying, detrimental effect. Various other emulsions are on the
market, but although these give the leather a soft, pleasant feel when
applied, this soon dries up, the leather becoming hard and liable to
crack. There may be some suitable ingredients for applying to leather
bindings, but I am of the opinion that if a library is not allowed to
get too hot, and a plentiful supply of pure, dry air is always present,
sound leather should require no further preservative.

                            CHAPTER III.

                     Provenance, Characteristics,
                   and Values of Modern Bookbinding


                           A. SEYMOUR-JONES.


To correctly locate the sources of skin supply suitable for bookbinding
is not easy, in consequence of original breeds having been transplanted
to equally suitable climes over the seas. In many cases purity of breed
has been maintained, while in the majority, deterioration has set
in, due to desire for heavier beasts: therefore the purposes of this
chapter will be best met if original breeds are described and their
general _habitat_ located. The animals which furnish skins suitable
in quality and quantity to meet the increasing demands of to-day are:
sheep, goat, calf, seal, and pig or hog. Other animals may produce
skins good for bookbinding, but a description of the foregoing will
afford ample illustration.

The sheepskin takes first place in regard to quantity. Probably more
than two-thirds of modern commercial bindings are represented by
this much-abused skin, which is frequently so skilfully manipulated
as to deceive even an expert, that it is not what it is represented
to be. After the pelt has been split or cut in twain--the grain part
after tanning being termed "a skiver," and the flesh after dressing
designated chamois--the former is so manipulated with dyes, finishes,
and embossing, that surface or grain detection is extremely difficult,
say, between a true morocco or embossed skiver. Much of this so-called
misrepresentation has been created by the public, who order their
books to be covered in "leather," which they are pleased to think is
morocco, or pig or seal, when reflection should tell them that it
cannot be genuine at the price they have paid, often for book and
binding complete. This "faking" is very largely accomplished upon
sheepskin, because it readily lends itself to such alterations both by
nature and price; but when such leathers are employed they should be
correctly described by the binder. Sheepskins have a large place in
the commercial bookbinderies and affections of the public at large,
and there is no reason why they should not only hold their ground, but
succeed in displacing the cloth imitations of leather; and, provided
the skins are selected from suitable breeds, they should find a place
in the binding of certain classes of books intended for permanent
reference in libraries.

The sheep as a family are divided into two classes: the Upland and
Lowland breeds. The Upland class inhabit the mountain ranges, and
while possessing a short firm wool, have a mass of close thick hair
underneath. Their habits and life make the character of meat and skin
approach a goat nearer than any other animal. The parent stock are the
argali or wild sheep of the Himalaya, and the "Musmon" of the Andes and
Sierra Nevadas. Fuller particulars will be found in the "Royal Natural
History," by Richard Lydekker, B.A., F.R.S., Vol. 2, pp. 212 to 234.
The Upland sheep of to-day vary in purity or closeness to the parent
stock according to the source of supply. In certain Mongolian, Arabian
and Welsh sheep it is not easy to discriminate between them and a true
goat, after the wool has been removed. It is the skins of such sheep
that are suitable for binding books in libraries where price and hard
wear are a consideration. Sheep-grazing countries having high altitudes
would be probable sources of supply of such skins. Great Britain,
through Wales, Cumberland, Westmorland, and the Highlands of Scotland
provides many millions of skins a year to the cotton spinning trade,
for covering drawing rollers, an operation calling for a hard-wearing
grained skin.

In practice it has been found that sheepskins yield the most lasting
results when tanned slowly in oak-bark liquors; the product is a
tighter and more solid skin than when tanned in sumach, though sumach
may be used in given cases, or a combination of both. Commercially
valued, the upland sheepskins sell at prices varying from 2-1/2d. to
9d. per square foot, when finished according to the Society of Arts'
Bookbinding Committee's Report.

The Lowland breed, commonly known as domestic sheep (Ovis aries) are
found wherever there are grazing lands. In sheep grazing, the graziers'
"object" varies. It may be the "wool or the flesh." If the former, the
skin is usually unfavourable for binding purposes, while if the latter,
a large portion find their way to the sheepskin splitters, who by
machinery of considerable delicacy split the skins into what are known
in the trade as grains and fleshes. The grains alone interest us, being
subsequently tanned into skivers. This class of leather has its use in
low-price trade bindings of flexible character, and as such competes
and compares in price and durability successfully with any imitations.

To make skivers suitable in wearing qualities it is advisable to take
the plain dyed class, reasonably stout, tanned in sumach, and dyed
without mineral acid, dried out with a little stretch left in, and
if they are required as tough as it is possible to obtain a grain, a
little nourishing material may be used to advantage. By following these
lines it will reduce the risk of imitations. Though "paste grain,"
"long grain," and "glazed skivers" will still find a market among
binders, they must not be classed among the "Imitations." Skivers are
sold from about 1d. to 5d. per square foot.

Before proceeding further it may be well to point out that the skins
from old or very young animals should be avoided, although old animals
are a rarity. Exceptionally large skins in their class should be viewed
with suspicion, likewise very small ones. The former may indicate
weakness, and the latter want of maturity. This must in practice have a
general application.

The goat (Genus Capra) finds most favour as furnishing a suitable skin
among binders. This animal, in the proper sense of the word "goat"
exclusive, belongs to the Old World, being confined to the area north
of the southern flanks of the Himalaya, though one species is found
in Egypt and another in Abyssinia, but quite unknown in the remainder
of Africa. In America the term "goat" is applied to our ruminant.
While being essentially a mountain animal, goat breeding has become
a business to-day throughout the world, which has been laid under
contribution to supply the enormous demand which has been created
during the past twenty years by the chrome glacé kid manufacturers, one
maker alone requiring 5,000 dozen skins per diem to keep his factory
running full. The skins generally employed for book purposes are the
European and Northern African supplies, though many other sources are
equally suitable. Goat skins, on account of their firm nature are
best tanned in pure sumach (Sicilian). Time has conclusively proved
this point. In the Rylands Library in Manchester (Eng.) are two heavy
volumes bound in plain undyed sumach-tanned goat-skins which were
bound in Spain in the 16th century, and are to-day in a perfect state
of preservation. The Niger skins (mixed goat and sheep) which have
found favour among certain bookbinders are produced from a breed of
Egyptian goats, tanned and prepared by Nigerian natives with a species
of nut-galls which gives them that peculiar close, tight feel, and
when such firmness is required in European stock it may be equally
effectively produced with oak bark. The large proportion of so-called
moroccos offered to-day are made from skins tanned in East India with
a catechol tannin. It is unfortunate that this tannage has failed to
withstand the tests supplied by the Scientific Committee appointed by
the Society of Arts on Bookbinding Leathers, because it excludes from
the Binding Trade a very useful and cheap supply of pretty looking and
feeling skin ready to hand for finishing in moroccos. While condemned
for permanent library work--that is, guaranteed leathers--the writer
sees no reason why such leathers may not safely be used for Lending
Library work, where the life of a binding is not expected to run more
than ten years, provided the surplus tan is washed out and replaced by
some nourishing material (fat), and in all processes inorganic acids
and alkalis are avoided. Goat-skins differ from other animals mainly
in the pronounced grain formations, while the texture of the skin
is closer and firmer than a sheep, the grain is harder, more scale
like, the papillæ between which the hair-holes are situate are most
marked, and it is their formation which produces during the operation
of "boarding" the grained morocco with its beautiful nodules. If
these nodules or grains are bold and large it indicates a thick skin
originally. Such grains cannot be expected upon a thin skin--it implies
either over-reduction (shaving) in substance or embossing. Thin skins
will produce a small shortlike grain. If the grain is fine on a large
skin it may have been reduced too much in substance, and thereby loses
most of its muscular structure and strength. It is necessary when
buying moroccos, which are not only expensive but are expected to yield
longevity and be hard wearing, to obtain a manufacturer's guarantee
that the skins are genuine goat (Genus Capra) and not mountain sheep
(Argali) or bastards, and that they have been prepared in accordance
with the Society of Arts' Report on Bookbinding. In value the moroccos
vary considerably in price, according to substance, size, quality, and
character. The skins are generally bought in the dry pelt state with
hair on at per lb., the large, plump, well-flayed skins commanding
higher prices than less favoured ones. In this state it is difficult to
detect grain faults, consequently to the manufacturer it is somewhat of
a speculation, and unless he is well informed in his trade he stands to
lose heavily. Generally speaking the prime clear grains go into bright
colours at higher prices than defective grains, which can be hidden
by darker colour with the aid of a suitable finish. For example, the
colour of the Niger skins previously referred to is an excellent one
for hiding grain defects. The amount of absolutely perfect skins is
small, but the remainder are good skins in their class for half-bound
work. The perfect skins will realise up to 2s. 6d. per square foot, and
according to quality and colour the balance will range down to 8d. per
square foot.

Calf skins have long been favoured for bookbinding, but through much
variety of tannages and faulty selection of skins have been brought
somewhat into disrepute for permanent work, but if prepared by slow
tanning in oak bark or sumach there is no reason why they should not be
reinstated. Undoubtedly the calf is favoured by Nature with the finest
and silkiest grains of all animals, and though too tender for rough
usage, is nevertheless, if suitably nourished, capable of standing
greater wear than it is credited with. Calf skins for bookbinding are
the product of the domestic ox (Bos taurus), and as this useful animal
is bred the world over, we are not wanting in supplies, nor is one land
more favoured than another. If the principle is accepted that small
books require small thin skins, as the books increase in size so should
the skins and substance, a great difficulty will be overcome, because
in buying calf one of the fatal mistakes made is the stipulation that
large skins must be thin. If this is insisted upon they must be split
or shaved of all their muscular tissue till merely the grain or skiver
is left. A reasonable amount of shaving is permissible, but splitting
is disastrous. Calf skins are invariably free from grain faults, so
that for delicate shades of colour they are particularly suitable. The
grain does not lend itself to any very definite formation in boarding
(graining), therefore calf by preference should be left smooth. In
the raw state they are purchased by the pound, and such cost being a
governing factor in selling, the price when finished may vary from 8d.
to 1s. 8d. per square foot.

The skins of seal (family Phocidæ) are most useful for bookbinding,
possessing special features, viz.: evenness of quality throughout,
there being no flanky or abdominal parts, extremely durable and
producing pretty grains either coarse or fine, dependent upon the
substance and character of the skins. The sources of supply are
Russia, Norway, Spitzbergen, Greenland, Labrador, and Newfoundland,
the largest supply coming from the latter place. Isolated supplies
have been shipped from the Falkland Islands and Antarctic. These are
the true or earless seals (family Phocidæ), commonly called hair seals
in contradistinction to the fur or eared seal (family Otaridæ) which
inhabit the Pacifics. As a leather for bookwork when tanned with a
pyrogallol tannage it is soft and kind to the touch, having few equals
and no superiors. It is essentially a hard-wearing leather and in
this respect only equalled by certain classes of goat-skins and pig
or hog skins. The "grained" skins exhibit a grain which sparkles in a
manner which is peculiarly characteristic and absent in other grained
leathers. The value of seal-skins, finished, ranges from 10d. to 2s.
per square foot. The former are useful for half-bound books.

Finally, pig or hog skins have played an important part in ancient
bindings of all sizes, and proved their great value as a hard wearing
cover by coming down to us in a remarkable state of preservation, even
on very heavy tomes. But, regretfully, some discredit has been cast
upon this splendid skin, partly due to ignorance in manufacture, also
to the very clever imitations. It is, perhaps, one of the easiest skins
to reproduce in its grain features and solid character, though the
imitations are easily detected by immersing a piece of the suspected
leather in water until saturated, then pulling it out with the hands to
stretch when the grain, which is produced by embossing, will disappear,
while the true hog grain will remain showing clear hair holes through
from grain to flesh. A hog-skin may be said to be practically
fibreless, approaching nearer to a piece of tough gristle than
anything else. In the raw state the skins are shipped from southern
Europe, Danubian and Balkan States, China and the East generally, while
North America has an almost unlimited supply, but Scotland produces
the finest and most esteemed. In size they vary considerably, like all
skin supplies, but a most useful skin for binders' use will contain
about 11 to 12 square feet. Slow oak-bark tanning is most suitable
for this class of skin. Sumach may with advantage be employed after
tanning to prepare them for the "dressing" or "finishing" process, but
no mechanical or chemical means should be employed to overcome a too
gristly nature, otherwise its unique capacity to withstand the act of
attrition is proportionately decreased, or if some similar means are
adopted to attain evenness of shade in dyeing, the same result may be
expected: therefore, so far as it is practicable, this skin should be
used in its natural state, if full durability is required.

Pigskins containing 11 to 12 square feet may be purchased, according to
their quality and degree of manufacture, from 8d. to 1s. 4d. per square

                             CHAPTER IV.

                  The Repairing and Binding of Books
                         for Public Libraries.


                           CYRIL DAVENPORT.


What with bad paper and bad leather, the librarian of the present is
confronted with two serious problems. In spite of the Society of Arts'
adverse criticism in 1898, much paper is still made of mechanical
wood pulp, and more badly overloaded with clay, in both cases
causing much anxiety and expenditure to the librarian who attempts
to cope successfully with the defect. The soft, spongy leaves, like
blotting-paper, that are chiefly composed of wood pulp, can best
be dealt with in the very expensive way of inlaying each page in a
surround of sound, true paper. But there is another expedient, which I
have not tried, which may to some extent be useful; it is to enclose
each leaf within a network of fine open silk net, made on purpose. In
either case re-sewing and re-binding is necessary.

With regard to the clay-laden paper on which many books are
printed, the case is equally serious and equally costly. Fine
monotone illustrations produced by the half-tone method, and colour
illustrations produced by the three-colour process, are now always made
on this sort of paper, which has a beautifully fine and even surface.
The paper, however, will not allow any stitching to keep it in place,
so it rapidly falls out. Then it has either to be inlaid in a sound
paper surround or else entirely mounted on a sound piece of paper or
jaconet; and if there are many plates this involves re-binding and an
ugly thickening of the book. There is, however, a new method, which may
prove of real value: the actual print is made on a very thin paper,
which is at once laid down on a sound sheet.

All these operations are expensive as at present provided for in most
libraries. They require great care and skill, and take a long time; and
it may safely be said that any trustworthy binder entrusted with such
work, which is quite out of the ordinary schedule, is fully justified
in charging highly for it. The necessary materials are, however, quite
simple, so that if there should be a skilled binder on the staff, all
such work can practically be done and counted at the cost of time-work
only--an immense saving.

There are numerous other small accidents which befall books in all
public libraries about which the same things may be said--accidental
ink-spots, leaves crushed from a fall, torn places, cut places, damp
or wet marks found out in time; all these are expensive to send out
and cheap to do on the premises. Besides this, in many cases such as
ink-stains or wet an immediate treatment is often quite successful,
whereas a delayed treatment can rarely be so.

All this comes under the category of small repairs; but there are other
matters which rank a little higher in the bookbinding world which can
also be easily and effectively done by a resident binder with few
appliances. In all libraries there are a number of pamphlets and thin
books which come under the usual binder's schedule at a fair price,
but which, if dealt with by the "stabbed" method on the premises, will
be equally strong at about one-third the cost. An ordinary octavo
periodical, measuring 10 by 7 inches, and 1-1/4 inches thick, can, with
the help of a cheap stabbing machine, be strongly and effectively bound
for about 10d., with boards, cloth back, paper sides, and lettered
in hand type on a paper label. I showed a specimen to the Library
Association on Dec. 18, 1902, when I read a paper on the subject, and
it was much approved. I do not advise the stabbing for a book of value,
but it does admirably for unimportant books, and is quick and easy to

It might be worth pointing out that in binding in this way a collection
of pamphlets of the same size, the collection can easily be taken
to pieces for insertion of a new piece, if required, without further
injury to the pamphlets already stabbed.

Next to this comes binding proper, books sewn with sewn-in bands or
flexible, then properly forwarded and finished. This is all skilled
work, and if any library is able to afford it there is no question but
that a large saving would be effected, both in money and in efficiency,
if it would set up a small bindery of its own. I think, however, that
it would not be wise to set up such a bindery unless some member of the
superior staff has gone through the binding shops and is able to bind a
book properly himself. [N.B.--In London the practical knowledge is very
difficult to obtain, as the Technical Education Board of the London
County Council does not admit amateurs.] Without this knowledge it is
impossible to know whether a book is truly or fraudulently bound.

A very common fault is that binders will not draw the ends of the bands
of a book properly in to the boards. They cut off the ends of the bands
or scrape them so thin that they are of no strength--this is done so
that the joint should look quite flat. The result is that when the
cloth, buckram, or leather with which the back is covered, gives way,
off come the boards; the book is then sent to a binder, who sticks a
new strip of leather along the back, and letters it, and charges the
same as for re-binding, the operation is done by one's own binder with
own leather, costing about a few pence only. In a properly forwarded
book with the bands properly drawn in, the boards are very securely
fastened and may well remain so for hundreds of years, irrespective
of whatever substance is used to cover the back. If the sewing of an
old book is still sound, but the ends of the bands are broken off,
new bands can be added by means of tape glued over the old ones and
then fastened on to the boards and properly covered with a new bit
of leather. Sometimes when they are sound, the remaining ends of old
bands will bear a new bit sewn on to them. In all repairs care should
be taken to match any old leather that can be retained as nearly as
possible. The proper sewing and forwarding of the book is the integral
part of the binding, the outer covering is of little real use except
for the protection of the threads which in the case of a flexible sewn
book would soon wear through if not enclosed. The outer covering of
a book, however, has great decorative possibilities and has been for
centuries a much valued field for designers, jewellers, enamellers,
goldsmiths, and workers in blind and gold tooling. Much fine decorative
work done on modern calf and bright coloured leathers will probably
perish in a very few years.

The question, therefore, of quality and soundness of the leather used
for covering the proper sewing of a book is of much importance. There
is strong need for sound leather, which is difficult to get, and
ordinary persons, even bookbinders and librarians themselves, cannot by
a simple inspection discriminate between new good leather and new bad
leather because there is no apparent difference.

We are in the hands of our leather merchants, and although several
firms are now willing to sell leathers under guarantee of freedom
from sulphuric acid, all are not yet so inclined. I should advise
all librarians who do their own binding to accept no leather without
a written guarantee of freedom from sulphuric acid, and even then I
should send a cutting to Dr. Parker for examination.

With regard to the trade aspect of employing a binder directly to work
on a time agreement, I am authoritatively informed that, provided the
workman is paid the full trade union wage, and properly located, there
is no objection to his employment in this manner. On the other hand,
as I have hinted before, I think that such a workman requires some
skilled supervision, so here, again, I would urge that in every library
one of the superior staff should be a competent binder himself. Given
such a skilled supervisor and a small body of skilled binders under his
authority, there is no doubt whatever that much money would be saved
in the administration of any library, and a multitude of invaluable
small repairs would be possible, which under ordinary conditions must
be left alone to accumulate and get worse and worse.

I am pleased to say that there are already valuable corroborations of
this view in actual working, and I am permitted to cite the case of the
Hull Public Library, whose report on the binding for 1901 is before me.
During this year I find that the work done comprised--

     3,024 volumes bound (all sizes, average 1s. 6-1/5d. per volume).

     247 volumes re-sewn (with new sides to 113 volumes).

     306-1/2 dozen volumes lettered and 114-1/2 dozen volumes
     alterations in numbers.

     46 reading cases made.

     Repairs, maps and sundries.

  The cost of the above work was--     £   s.  d.
  WAGES                              210   4   4
  MATERIALS--           £   s.  d.
    Millboards          25   8   4
    Cloth               11   2   4
    Tapes                3   3   0
    Paste and glue       3  16   6
    Calico               7  10   2
    Gold leaf            4   9   3
    Leathers            41   8   6
    Thread               5   2   1
    Gas, carriage, &c.   9   8   6
    End papers           7   8   6
                        ----------   118  17   2
                                    £329   1   6

The mere enumeration of these materials shows the immense value of the
system, enabling the administration to accomplish numbers of small
repairs, each of which would have cost very much more if they had been
done by an outside bookbinder.

The report for 1902 is similar, but the sum spent is £396 1s. 11d., and
the work done was--

     3,756 volumes bound (all sizes) average 1s. 7-1/3d. per volume.

     6,901 volumes lettered and 1,098 volumes alterations in numbers.

     Maps mounted and repairs.

In 1903 we find an expenditure of £397 7s. 4d., and work done--

  3,465 volumes bound, all sizes (1s. 8-1/7d. per vol.).
    633    "    re-cased.
  1,697    "    repaired and glued up.
  3,241    "    numbered, and 224 volumes numbers altered.
     77 reading cases made.
     50 boxes for application forms made.
    589 sheets of ordnance maps mounted and repaired.

The increased cost in binding "is principally owing to extra labour
incurred in preparing the books for sewing, necessary in consequence
of the poor quality of paper on which books are now printed, and the
method of sewing adopted by publishers."

Here we begin to find the result of the bad paper of to-day, and
we must also note the warning to publishers contained in the last
paragraph. I can thoroughly endorse it, and I know that nine out of ten
new books are so badly put together that it takes a long time and much
trouble to pull them to pieces before they can be properly sewn.

For 1904 there is an expenditure of £416 16s. 6d., and the work
done--4,352 volumes bound (average cost 1s. 8-1/2d. per vol.), and
various items of mounting ordnance maps, always a very expensive
operation, re-sewing, lettering, and miscellaneous repairs, all very
necessary and, if sent out, very costly. It will be noted that the cost
of binding per volume is steadily increasing, and this not because the
work is better done, but because of the bad quality of the paper and
sewing as sent out by publishers. Books are sent out fastened by little
wire clips, which rust, and have to be very carefully extracted before
a book can be properly sewn. These little clips are abominations, and
the process of removing them, however carefully done, is likely to
cause damage which must be repaired in its turn. Then machine sewing
has not yet reached its final stage; there is a difficulty about the
return of one of the threads, and it is clumsily brought back by
tearing through the upper and lower extremities of each section. This
damage is glued up and hidden by a head-band stuck on, but when the
book is pulled so that it may be properly sewn, the torn parts have to
be laboriously mended.

My thanks are due to Mr. William F. Lawton, the librarian of the Hull
Public Libraries, who has most courteously given me the particulars
I asked him for; and he tells me further that his books are all
half-bound, mostly in sealskin--a very valuable leather; also that he
is getting a far better binding both as regards the quality of the
materials used and the highest average he mentions, 1s. 8-1/2d. per
volume for a satisfactory binding must be something of a revelation to
most librarians, whose average, even if they employ the cheapest binder
in their neighbourhood, must be very much higher than this, and in all
likelihood the work and materials not in any way near the same standard
of excellence.

There is another point about an old library which is of much
importance, and for which the services of a regular working binder are
invaluable. This is the periodical cleaning and polishing of books.
It is no use to try to clean old books with water; it will do more
harm than good. But until some competent chemist chooses to suggest
a proper dressing, it will be found that a good furniture polish is
excellent for the purpose. Among the several skilled members employed
in my library, one of the best is always cleaning and polishing old
books; in fact, old leather really requires some sort of feeding to
keep it in sound condition, and the state of perfect repair in which
numbers of 15th century books and books of about that date still
are is a remarkable testimony to the excellence of old systems of
preparing leather and its permanence if carefully kept. Calf, vellum,
and goat-skin all last splendidly, but all do better if kept in the
dark and under glass; and it must never be forgotten that damp is one
of the worst enemies of both paper and leather. Bookcases should never
touch an outer wall, but a ventilation space should always be left
between the wall and the back of the bookcase. This should even be done
when the bookcase abuts on an inner wall. Bookshelves should never be
cleaned or washed with water--only use furniture polish; and vellum
books should be kept with their backs inwards, the title, if necessary,
being written on the fore-edge. Old vellum books were usually kept so
in olden times, as light makes vellum brittle like egg-shell.

Books should be close enough on a shelf to support each other; they
should not be allowed to flop about; if they are there will be a
tendency to fall away from the upper bands, especially in the case of
large books. A simple angle iron, the lower wing being inserted under
the last few books on a shelf not full, will enable the books to be
kept always at the proper lateral pressure.

Big books, such as newspapers, should have a strong handle loop of
leather bound in, coming out about the middle of the back.

                              CHAPTER V.

                  Specification for the Fittings of a
                            Small Bindery.


                           F. J. WILLIAMSON.


The following practical hints may be found useful when repairs are
required to books in libraries. It is, however, necessary that the
librarian or his assistants should gain some technical knowledge of
bookbinding, as this will enable them to execute small repairs, which,
if promptly done, will probably prevent the expense of rebinding.

The repairing room or small bindery should be not less than 12 feet
square, and should have a good natural light. The "plant" required will
be as follows:--

                                                    £  _s._  _d._
   One cutting press, plough, pin and two knives    1   12    0
   One close tub and cover                          1   15    0
   One stabbing machine                             1    8    0
   One sewing press and keys                        0   10    0
   One pair of millboard shears                     0   18    6
   One pair of shears                               0    2    6
   One paring knife                                 0    0    7
   One cutting-out knife                            0    0    7
   One backing hammer                               0    2    6
   One knocking-down iron                           0    3    6
   Two bone folders (thin and thick)                0    0   10
   One paste tub                                    0    3    0
   One glue pot                                     0    3    0
   Two paste brushes (small and large)              0    5    0
   Two glue brushes (small and large)               0    5    0
   Two pairs of backing boards (octavo and folio)   0    2    0
[A]Two pairs of pressing boards (quarto and folio)  0    7    0
   One iron nipping press, 18 by 12                 5    5    0
   One wooden nipping press, 18 by 12               1   15    0
   One ragstone                                     0    0    5
   One sandstone                                    0    0    3
   One steel straight-edge                          0    2    0
   One square                                       0    2    0
   One wooden trindle                               0    0    6

[A] A few stout millboards of the same size as the wooden pressing
boards will be required for placing between the books when more than
one book is pressed at a time, the wooden pressing boards being used
for the top and bottom books. These can be made by pasting together two
tenpenny millboards; line each side with stout smooth paper, trim the
edges of the boards, so that they are square.

_To repair torn leaves._--Paste the edges of the parts torn very
neatly, using a little paste, place a piece of tissue paper under the
torn part, carefully join the parts, and place another piece of tissue
paper over the joint; then place a piece of paper each side of the
leaf, and put a weight upon it until the part is dry, then take away
the loose tissue paper.

_To insert a loose leaf._--Flatten the back edge of the leaf, then
place a strip of paper about 1/8 inch from the edge, and paste that
part very neatly, insert it in the book, placing it as close to the
back as possible, close the book, and place a weight upon it for about
three hours.

_To replace books in their covers._--If the cover of a book is sound,
the book can be inserted again in the following manner:--If it is
necessary, re-sew the book on tapes, put new end papers made with a
strip of wide linen in the fold, sew these on the book and trim them,
paste the tapes on the end papers, knock up the edges of the book as
evenly as possible (as they will not be cut) and glue the back, using
the glue sparingly, and place a thin piece of linen round the back
extending about 1 inch on each end paper; put the book under a weight
until the glue is almost dry, then "round" it and afterwards "back" it
slightly; place the book again under a weight until the glue is quite
dry, glue the back again, and place the book squarely in the old cover;
place a piece of paper round the back of the cover, and rub it down
with the bone folder until the back of the cover sticks well to the
book. After about three hours the glue will be dry, and the book can
then be pasted down; open the covers and paste the end paper facing the
board, using the brush from the centre to the edges; close the covers
and put the book in the nipping press--the pressing boards should be
placed carefully against the grooves and not upon them; leave the book
in the press for about twelve hours. When a book does not require
re-sewing, new end papers should be made as stated and sewn on the book
if it has been sewn on tapes; if the book has not been sewn on tapes,
the end papers should be edged on in the same manner as the loose leaf,
and in these instances the linen should be placed in the fold of the
end papers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Old books which have been bound in leather generally require repairs to
the corners and the back, these being the parts which first show signs
of decay. Carefully cut away the ragged edges of the old leather along
the joints at the back and also the corners; strip the leather off the
back and soak it off if necessary, so that the back is quite clean;
also take away the old leather from the corners, lift up the edges of
the leather along the joints and also at the corners about 1 inch, turn
the leather back, and place a thin piece of wooden trindle under the
fold, and pare the edges of the leather neatly; if the millboard at the
corners is broken, open the edges and rub in some glue, press the edges
together, and, when nearly dry, hammer them flat on the "knocking-down
iron," obtain some leather to match the old binding, put a new back,
also corners where necessary, on the book, paring the edges of the
leather neatly; after these are quite dry, the edges of the old leather
should be pasted down to overlap the new leather; wash any smears of
paste away, and press the book lightly in the nipping press; new end
papers should be edged in as in the case of the loose leaf: trim them
to the size of the book and then paste them down, but with the boards
open until they are quite dry; place either a tin or a glazed cardboard
inside the covers, and keep the book pressed in the nipping press for
about six hours.


  Acetic Acid. _See_ Acids, organic.
  Acids, mineral, 20, 21
  ---- ---- _See also_ Sulphuric acid.
  ---- organic; sulphuric acid substituted for, 8, 9
  ----, ---- Use of, advocated, 21
  Aniline dyes. _See_ Leather, dyeing.
  Athenæum Club Committee on leather decay, 11

  Binderies, private; fitting and administration, 41-54
  Binding contracts, 13, 24, 25
  Binding specifications, model, 25
  Bookbinding, education in, want of provision for, 43
  Bookbinding in Public Libraries. _See_ Binderies, private.
  Bookbinding leathers. _See_ Leather; _and under names of skins_,
      _e.g._, Goatskin, &c.
  Book cleaning and polishing. _See_ Leather preservative compositions.
  Books; replacing within covers, 43, 52, 53
  Book-sewing; stabbing process for pamphlets, 42, 43
  ---- ---- Modern methods, 43, 44

  Calvert, C., on decay of leather, 11
  Catechol tannins condemned. _See_ Tannins.
  Calfskin, 26, 36
  Cockerell, D.: Note on Bookbinding, 25

  Damp, influence upon leather, 27, 48
  Davenport, C.: "Repairing and Binding of Books for Public Libraries."
      Chap. IV., 41-48
  Decay of leather. _See_ Leather, decay.
  Dyeing leather. _See_ Leather, dyeing.

  Formic acid. _See_ Acids, organic.

  Gas fumes; influence upon leather, 11, 12
  Goatskin, 26, 34-36
  Graining, artificial, of leather. _See_ Leather, artificial graining.

  Heat; action upon leather, 11, 12, 27
  Hogskin. _See_ Pigskin.
  Hull Public Library; Reports on private bindery, 45-47
  Hulme, E. W.: "History of Sumach Tanning, &c." Chap. I., 7-14

  Jones, A. S.: "Provenance, &c., of Bookbinding Leathers."
      Chap. III., 31-38

  Lactic acid. _See_ Acids, organic.
  Lawton, W. F. _See_ Hull Public Library.
  Leather, artificial graining of, 10, 22, 31
  ---- bindings; conditions for preserving, 27
  ----, decay of; history, 10-12
  ----, ---- symptoms, 13, 14
  ----, ---- reasons, 18-24
  ---- dyeing; old and new systems compared, 9, 20, 21
  ---- early manufacture, 17
  ---- finishes, 24
  ---- preservative compositions, 27, 47, 48
  Leathers, retanned; process described and condemned, 22-24
  ----, ---- conditionally recommended, 34, 35
  ---- split, 22, 26, 33
  Leathersellers' Company; supervision of sumach tanning in 1565, 7
  ---- ---- Grant to Society of Arts' Committee, 12
  Light, influence upon leather, 27, 48
  Lopez, R., original of "Shylock", 7, 8

  McBride, Dr., introduces use of sulphuric acid in 1768, 8, 9
  Morocco grain, 35
  ---- ---- artificial. _See_ Leather, artificial graining of.
  Moroccos. _See_ Goatskin; Niger skin; Leathers, retanned.
  Myrobalans, duty on, in 1660, 8

  Niger skin, 34

  Oxalic acid, use of, by binders, 14, 24

  Paper, clay-loaded, mounting, 41, 42
  Parker, J. G.: "Causes of Leather Decay." Chap. II., 17-27
  ----, ---- appointed Analyst to the L.A., 12, 13

  "Persians." _See_ Leathers, retanned.
  Pigskin, characteristics, &c., 26, 37, 38
  ---- decay, 14
  Pyrogallol tannins. _See_ Tannins.

  Russia leather, 26

  Sealskin, 26, 37
  Sheepskin, 26, 31-33
  "Shylock," original of, 8
  Skivers. _See_ Leathers, split.
  Society of Arts' Committee on Leathers, appointment, 12
  ---- ---- ---- Recommendations, _passim_.
  Sound Leather Committee; appointment, 12
  Spanish leather, sumach-tanned, 7
  Stationery Office. _See_ Binding contracts.
  Sulphuric acid, first used in 1768, 8, 9
  ---- ---- _See also_ Acids, mineral.
  Sumach tanning, history, 7, 8

  Tannins; pyrogallols distinguished from catechols, 19, 20

  Vellum, 26, 48

  Williamson, F. J.: "Specification for the Fittings of a Small
      Bindery." Chap. V., 51-54
  Woodward, C. T.: Experiments on action of gas fumes and heat, 11



    Banting, George F., x
    Birdsall & Son, xi
    Bookbinders' Co-operative Society, Ltd., xii
    Chappell, R. D., & Co., xii
    Eyre & Spottiswoode, xiii
    Gray, John P., & Son, xiv
    Mudie & Co., x
    Riley, B., & Co., Ltd., ix
    Smith, W. H., & Son, xii

  _Leather Analysis_, ii

  _Leather Importers_:
    Gray, John P., & Son, xiv

  _Leather Manufacturers_:
    Bevingtons & Sons, iii
    Deed, John S., & Sons, Ltd., v
    Garnar, James, & Sons, vii
    Gibbs, Geo., & Son, vii
    Gryffe Tannery Co., ix
    Meredith-Jones, J., & Sons, Ltd., vi
    Muir, John, & Son, iv
    Richardson, Edward & James, v

  _Leather (Bookbinding) Merchants_:
    Eyre & Spottiswoode, xiii

  _Leather Trades Review_, viii

  _Sumac Importers_:
    "Tiger" Sumac Co., x

When corresponding with Advertisers, please mention

_Leather Analysis._

_Under an arrangement entered into between the Council of the Library
Association and Dr. J. Gordon Parker, their Official Examiner of
Leather, the following Scale of Fees has been agreed upon:--_

                                                        Special Fee
                                        Usual Fee.      to Members.
                                         --------       -----------
                                        £ _s._ _d._      £ _s._ _d._
  Test for Presence of Injurious Acids  0  10   6        0   5   0
  Quantitative Estimation of Acids      1   1   0        0   7   6
  Nature of Tannage, if Pure Sumach     0  10   6        0   5   0
  Full Microscopic Examination          1   1   0        0   5   0
  Full Examination and Report on
      Sample of Leather                 2   2   0        1   0   0

   Samples of Leather, not less than six square inches, may now be
   sent to

    Herold's Institute,
    Drummond Road,

     _Correspondence on above may be addressed to the Hon. Sec., Sound
     Leather Committee of the Library Association, Whitcomb House,
     Whitcomb Street, W.C._

                          BEVINGTONS & SONS,
                           NECKINGER MILLS,
                       Bermondsey, London, S.E.

_Manufacturers of--_


    _Seal Leather for Books,_
    _Calf leather for Books,_
    _Goat leather for Books,_
       _---- and ----_
    _Sheep Leather for Books._

                     Guaranteed Sumach-Tanned and
                       free from Mineral Acids.

                     --> EVERY SKIN STAMPED. <--

           _See Samples of our Goat, Seal, and Calf (1-4)
                          on End Covers._

                  *       *       *       *       *



                             BOOK BINDING.


                        [Illustration: PIGSKIN]


We first introduced this material to the notice of Bookbinders some 25
years ago. Since then it has steadily increased in popularity, as its
durability and utility have been demonstrated by this test of a quarter
of a century.


It is not a fibrous substance as other leather is, but naturally of a
compact, gristly character. When skilfully tanned and treated for the
purpose, it unquestionably is the best of bookbinding leather.

See Sample of our Pigskin on End Cover.

Available in all colours and substances. Please write for full

                           JOHN MUIR & SON,
                         TANNERS AND CURRIERS,
                           BEITH, SCOTLAND.
                  (_Established a Century ago._)

           Offices: 3, ARUNDEL STREET, STRAND, LONDON, W.C.
                                                 4669 GERRARD.

             Pigskin Tyre Factory for Vehicles and Motors:
                       183, BOW ROAD, LONDON, E.

                 *       *       *       *       *

                     JOHN S. DEED & SONS, _Ltd._
                           Manufacturers of
                      Best Quality Sumach-Tanned
                           MOROCCOS AND CALF

              And other Classes of Bookbinding Leathers.
  Factories { Eagle Leather Works, Mitcham and Carshalton, Surrey.
            { Middlesex  -    -    Arthur Street, London, W.C.

  _All Communications to be addressed to Central Works and Offices_
                   91, NEW OXFORD ST., LONDON, W.C.

                   *       *       *       *       *



                    Speciality ...
                         CAPE GOATS.
                         COLOURED CALF.


              Makers also of Best Flexible Skin Glue and
                         ..  Roller Compo.  ..

                       EDWARD & JAMES RICHARDSON
                        ELSWICK LEATHER WORKS,

                   *       *       *       *       *

                    J. MEREDITH-JONES & SONS, Ltd.,
                            LEATHER WORKS,

                           MANUFACTURERS OF


     Guaranteed to be dressed on the lines recommended by the Society
     of Arts Report, and free from Mineral Acids.

                       SPECIALITY: WELSH SHEEP.
               See Sample of our Sheepskin on End Cover.

                 _Patterns and Prices on application._

                   *       *       *       *       *

                      AN EFFECTIVE BINDING!


                       Sumach-Tanned Split Sheep
                            and Lamb Skins.

                          AND SMALL VOLUMES.


                         JAMES GARNAR & SONS,
                              The Grange,
                       BERMONDSEY, LONDON, S.E.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                          GEO. GIBBS & SON,
                     29, ST. BRIDE STREET, LONDON.

                      MITCHAM COMMON, SURREY,
                           LONG LANE, BERMONDSEY.

                           SKIVER LEATHERS.

                      PARCHMENTS FOR BOOKBINDERS.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                          THE LEATHER TRADE.

                    _"THE LEATHER
                               TRADES' REVIEW."_

                          THE ORGAN OF THE
                   _HIDE, TANNING, LEATHER
                              AND KINDRED TRADES._

                     BOTH EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYÉS.



                        WORLD-WIDE CIRCULATION.


                    LATEST AND MOST RELIABLE NEWS.

                    (52 WEEKLY NUMBERS POST FREE).

                  OFFICE: 24, MARK LANE, LONDON, E.C.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                               PIG SKINS
                             IN THE CRUST

                _Warranted Free of Mineral Acid._

                        GRYFFE TANNERY COMPANY,
                            BRIDGE OF WEIR,
                             Near GLASGOW,

                  Telegrams: "GRYFFE," Bridge of Weir.
                National Telephone: No. 8, Bridge of Weir.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                         B. RILEY & Co., Ltd.,
                          LIBRARY BOOKBINDERS
                           and SPECIALISTS.

            Best Work, Best Materials, and Promptness, with
                            Lowest Prices.

                         PIGSKINS AND MOROCCOS
              _Guaranteed free from Injurious Acid._


       _Catalogues, Price Lists, and Quotations by return post._

       NOTE ADDRESS:--
           London Office: 376, STRAND, W.C.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                     Messrs. MUDIE & Co.

        _Undertake all Classes of Binding for either
        No Imitation Leathers used...._


        _Address MANAGER_,
                   MUDIE'S LIBRARY,
                      NEW OXFORD STREET,

                   *       *       *       *       *


                      GEORGE F. BANTING,
                Danemere Works, Danemere Street, Putney
       (Hitherto trading as J. BANTING & SON, CHELSEA),

           _Specialist in Public Library Bookbinding_.
        The only binder in London who has made a speciality of
                      Public Library Bookbinding.

    _Testimonials from Customers for Continuous Work for 18 years._

A Trial Order will prove that Books Bound by me are "Bound once for All."

                   *       *       *       *       *

    Telegrams and Cables: "CLEANING, ECCLES." Code: A.B.C., 5th Ed.
                      Stores: LONDON. LIVERPOOL.

                      THE "TIGER" SUMAC COMPANY.
                       "TIGER" REGISTERED BRAND.
                       THOMAS ATKIN, Proprietor.
                           ECCLES, ENGLAND.

Purity and 26 per cent. minimum Tannin guaranteed by I.A.L.T.C. Analysis.
    Analyst, Dr. ANDREW TURNBULL, 3, Lord Street, Liverpool, whose
              determination in every case must be final.

      Average Test of all our Shipments from September 1, 1904,
  to July 31, 1905, =29·7=%, =or 14 per cent. beyond our guarantee=.

  _Free copy of Analysis given with orders for 10 Tons and upwards._

     Shipments made c.i.f. from Palermo to any port in the world.


             Agents--Messrs. POPPLETON, GIBBS & Co., 4-5,
                     Leather Market, London, S.E.
Sole Agents for Australia and New Zealand--Messrs. JAMES HARDIE & Co.,

                   *       *       *       *       *

                              BIRDSALL & SON
                  High-Class, General, and Miscellaneous

     AN OLD-ESTABLISHED BUSINESS with a lengthened reputation, and in
     the hands of the proprietors' family for the past 113 years. The
     buildings now cover 20,000 square feet of ground.

     THE THOROUGHNESS of the old handicraftsman, with the skill of
     modern expert workmanship.

     SOUND AND DURABLE ENGLISH LEATHER free from destructive acids.

     RELIURES DE LUXE and ART BINDINGS of the highest quality, either
     to original designs, or as reproductions of early styles.

     PRIVATE AND PUBLIC LIBRARY BINDINGS of every description.
     Patentees of "Bibliofortis" Bindings for books subject to
     exceptional wear.

     SPECIAL BINDINGS in general conformity with the specifications of
     the Society of Arts.

     REPAIRING, REMOUNTING, and RESTORING of Old Bindings. Washing and
     Repairing of Old Books. Imperfect Leaves made up in facsimile,
     &c., &c.

     TWO FIREPROOF STRONG ROOMS for the better security of valuable

     THE PERSONAL ATTENTION of the four Messrs. Birdsall is given to
     the intricate and often difficult detail of this business. Their
     efforts are seconded by a large and expert managing staff, so that
     an exceptional amount of experienced supervision is available, and
     a high standard of efficiency is thereby maintained.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                       Messrs. W. H. SMITH & SON
                        IN THEIR OWN WORKSHOPS





                   *       *       *       *       *

    _The Bookbinders'
    Co-operative Society, Ltd._,
    (With Co-partnership of the Workers.)

    17, BURY STREET.
        BLOOMSBURY, W.C.
            Established 1885.

    The above Society is noted for sound, reliable work, and binds
    for many public institutions, and also has an _extensive private

    Special Terms quoted for School and College Libraries.


    _Books Bound in accordance with Society of Arts recommendations._

    All work entrusted to us is under the supervision of
                                  Mr. J. WATSON, Manager.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                        OUR "FLEXO" BOOKBINDING

                           ensures STRENGTH,
                            DURABILITY, and
                      Three important requisites.

                    PORTFOLIOS of every description
                     made at the shortest notice.

                         MSS. carefully Bound.

                     OLD AND RARE BOOKS Restored,
                  Washed, and Cleaned without use of

                         R. D. CHAPPELL & Co.,
                     General Library Bookbinders,
                        25, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE,
                             LONDON, E.C.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                        =Eyre & Spottiswoode's=

                             _PURE SUMACH
                           TANNED LEATHER._

                   Supplied in a variety of colours.

        Not only free from acid, but strengthened and enriched
     by a process which fully satisfies the conditions prescribed
               by the Committee of the Society of Arts.

            Analysed by Gordon Parker, and certified to be
                pure Sumach tanned and free from acid.

       _Facsimile of       [Illustration]    _Stamped on every skin
          Guarantee_                              supplied._

       Binding: undertaken in this Special Leather (as used for
             the British Museum) at a nominal increase on
                the rates charged for ordinary leather.

            EYRE & SPOTTISWOODE, East Harding Street, E.C.

                   *       *       *       *       *


            _Established 1847._      _Established 1847._
                        Special Appointment.


  _Best Appointed Bindery in East Anglia_


                John P. Gray & Son,
               _Artistic & General_

                 Nat. Tel.: 0262.
            _10, Green Street_, Cambridge.

  _NIGER MOROCCO_, _Being importers of this excellent Leather,
  direct from Kano, Northern Nigeria, we are in a position to supply
  the trade and public in general with good skins at reasonable



  John P. Gray & Son's reputation is a guarantee for the best
         Workmanship and Materials at Moderate Prices.

[Illustration: (4.) CALF.]

[Illustration: (5.) SHEEP (ROLLER BASIL).]

[Illustration: (6.) PIG.]

Transcriber's Notes

In the text version, text in italics and underlined text has been
transcribed using the _underline symbol_.

Text in bold has been transcribed with =equals symbols=.

There is some inconsistent hyphenation. This has been left as printed.

p.10. "since about 1860 skeepskin" changed to sheepskin.

p.43. "books sewn with sawn-in bands" changed to sewn-in.

Index. "Sulphuric acid 8,6" There is no marked p.6. It is most likely
that the reference is to p.9 and this has been corrected.

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