Repair Dust Jackets: Preservation
Should you repair dust jackets? This is a controversial topic. Read all the information to decide if this is the right thing for your dust jacket. Do you have a collectible dust jacket? Then this course is especially for you! Learn the preservation treatments appropriate for collectible dust jackets that are torn into two or more pieces.
What Kind of Dust Jackets?
This particular course is focused on one specific kind of dust jacket: Older (vs. modern plastic), plain “white” paper dust jacket with colored front. It is water resistant but not plasticized (Some may be clay-coated paper). These dust jackets function like two pieces of paper laminated together. There are frequently splits and cracks that separate the two layers. Early dust jackets are sometimes printed on color papers or have no layers and more modern ones typically have a plasticized layer.
Perpetual Caveat: Don’t work on rare or expensive dust jackets except to preserve the pieces all together. Practice on unimportant dust jackets.
Included in This Course:
- Type of Book: Typical older Paper Dust Jacket
- This Particular Dust Jacket:
- The Animal Frolic by Toba Sojo (1954)
- Issue: The dust jacket is torn up into two or more pieces.
- Treatment: Preservation: The Only option for Collectible Books.
- Step by Step Instructions
- 21 Minutes of Video
Summary of Steps to Preserve your Dust Jacket
The Lesson contains all the how-to details. Click the ^ Curriculum ^ Tab to get to the Lesson
- Gather Tools and Materials
- Line up the Pieces
- Tack Pieces Together
- Put it in a Protective Cover
- Add Color Background (or don’t)
Rules for Repairing a Dust Jacket:
These rules will help you avoid disaster!
- The purist book collector controls the rare book market. That top 1% doesn’t want any repair or restoration done except to prevent further damage. Is your DJ (with book) worth greater than $1,000 (this is a random number meant to signify great value)? Is it rare? Then you should think twice before doing anything to it. Most likely, you already know that a dust jacket can be worth around 70-80% of the value of the book. All of that said, I have restored dust jackets extensively for clients who just want their shelves to look complete and they have been happy with my work.
You Can’t Get Away with it Rule:
- Next it is good to know that when you hold a dust jacket up to the light you should be able to see all of the repair and restoration work. Don’t be concerned that the restoration might fool people into thinking it is untouched. This is a very real concern for collectors.
Repair Materials Rule:
- Repair tears from the back as much as possible so the new material shows the least. Less is more! The repair material should be so weak that, if stressed, it would tear before the original materials would tear.
Paste vs Glue Rule:
- Use archival paste rather than PVA for all repairs. PVA (poly-vinyl-acetate) glue shows (is more visible) more than paste and is not reversible. PVA is more flexible though, so there are times it may make some sense to use some. Always use in a mix of part PVA to paste. Read more about the differences between glue and paste in this free course.
The Save Your Books Page Repair Kit contains much of what is needed to restore a dust jacket (other than colors).