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Raven Picks: Links and Resources


Raven Picks - Our Favorite Links

I. Book Care and Conservation

Book Conservation Techniques

Courtesy of CoOL, Conservation On-Line. A project of the Preservation Department of Stanford University Libraries, you can find a full text library of conservation information for all kinds of book and paper conservation issues including mold, mildew, fungi, biological pests, etc. Compiled for professional conservators, there is also much useful information of interest to book collectors.


Book Repair Manual

An illustrated on-line book repair manual, courtesy of Preservation Services, Dartmouth College Library.

Care, Handling and Storage of Books

Tips on book preservation courtesy of The Library of Congress.

The Collector's Connection

The Collector's Connection at Biblio.com is a monthly online column by Bern Marcowitz and Margot Rosenberg which focuses on cleaning, repairing, protecting and storage of collectible books and ephemera.

Everyday Care of Your Old Books:

The advice below is courtesy of retired book conservator Carol Pratt:

  • The paper and stitching of the book are old - as old as the book itself, and they are not able to tolerate the kind of casual exercise we normally give to books. Avoid opening the volume to a fully flattened position. Instead open the covers no further than 120 degrees (less is better) and support them with your hands or with some mechanical means, such as bricks, which have been wrapped in clean Kraft or other paper. A book cradle, if you have one, is ideal. Do not place any weight on the book when it is open.
  • Turn the pages carefully to avoid breaking or tearing the edges.
  • Do not use the pages of the book to flatten and dry plant materials or to safeguard locks of hair or other mementos. These items are probably very acid, possibly dirty, and plants introduce moisture. Moreover, placing these foreign materials into the pages puts strain on the spine and its stitching, something to be avoided.
  • Keep the volume in a room that is likely to be moderate in temperature and humidity. Do not place it in an unheated space such as an attic or a basement, and do not leave it exposed to sunlight. Swings in temperature and humidity will cause rapid deterioration and irreversible damage to all parts of the book. Protect the book from dust if you can, if it is displayed, by dusting carefully with a gentle vacuum suction or with a "Magnetic" dust cloth of the kind used to clean computer monitors. If not displayed, a wrapping of well-washed clean cotton sheeting can hardly be improved on.
  • Shelve a large book on its side - DO NOT place oversize volumes upright on a bookshelf.
  • The book wants to be treated with deference for its age - not too hot, not too cold, not damp, not too dry. Handle it gently and with respect. It has seen many years and should endure many more.

More Everyday Care and Repair Tips:

UNBOUND: Book Repair for Booksellers by J. Godsey can be found at http://www.sicpress.com/ Useful and clearly illustrated techniques for booksellers and bookbuyers alike to remediate and repair a variety of book problems and injuries. Contents: read me, stuff you'll need, anatomy 101, dirty book, dirty dust jacket, writing, bookplates, pockets, stickers or tape, crayon, cocked spine, missing endpaper, shaken hinge, loose signature, loose leaf, bumped corner, torn leaf, bubbled cloth, discolored cloth, embossing, wet books, smelly books, warped boards, damaged endpaper, split spine - paperback, hitch-hikers, supplies. This economical guide is intended to help you cosmetically improve and extend the life and usefulness of books that have already lived a rich and full life as part of a library's circulating collection or perhaps your favorite personal reading copies. It is not meant as a substitute for the restorative treatment by a professional conservator as required for rare books. As the author notes, if it has great monetary or sentimental value, it is probably best that it be left 'as-is' and/or restored by a professional conservator. Some short illustrative videos of some of the simple repairs possible can be found by visiting the Bibliophile Bullpen, a very entertaing and informative bookish blogspot found at http://bibliophilebullpen.blogspot.com/

Also available from the same author are Book Deodorizing Granules at http://www.bookdeodorizer.com/


For one-stop shopping, a wide and impressive selection of book binding and repair tools, cleaning and preservation supplies and even online videos demonstrating repair techniques can be found at http://www.sicpress.com/


Book displays for the obsessed collector can be found at BookDisplay.net Acrylic display cases and book easels for your favorite books and special collections.

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II. All About Books and Book Collecting



Books and Book Collecting

offers an amazing collection of sources and information about all things book related. Steve Trussel's site is a classic "must- have" bookmark.  Additional reference material for collectors and book lovers may be found at BookThink.com, at IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and at the ABAA At these sites may be found a wealth of information and resources about books: buying, selling and collecting books, identifying first editions, identifying book club editions, author signatures, book search sites, blogs and networking links, articles on book-related topics and other up-to-date tools of the trade. Littera Scripta compiles yet an additional wealth of resources and information for book people, featuring search engines, links to reference works, how-to information, current book-related news and ongoing discussion forums. Tips for buyers and sellers, book care and first edition identification are just a sampling of useful topics.

The Author and Illustrator Signatures section at Purple House Press features an impressive list of author and illustrator signatures for your reference. Jill Morgan has created Purple House Press and is in the process of reprinting formerly out-of-print, hard to find books for children (and their parents!)



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III. Orchid Books and Other Resources for Botanists and Gardeners

In response to popular demand, we try to maintain a varied, current and informative selection of new, used, out-of-print and hard to find books about orchids and orchid culture (just search by keyword: orchid). Your suggestions are always welcome. We will gladly special-order any Timber Press publications for you and are very happy to distribute this special title on orchid seed propagation technique:

"Asymbiotic Technique of Orchid Seed Germination" by A. J. Hicks.


"The Orchid Seed Germination Manual" by the same author, is also available for purchase at Ravenroost Books and covers much of the same core material in a more concise text.



New Arrival!:

"Orchid Seed Germination Media. A Compendium of Formulations" By A.J. Hicks, edited by K. Lynn. An authoritative reference containing of over 130 recipes and formulations for growing orchid seeds in vitro.


More sources and information about orchids and orchid culture may be found at the author's site The Orchid Seedbank Project at http://www.members.cox.net/ahicks51/osp/ OSP, founded in 1996, works towards the conservation of orchid species by seed. They archive and sell seeds and flasked seedlings of hundreds of orchid species, along with the materials and information needed to cultivate them.


American Orchid Society Bulletins (now known as Orchids-The Magazine of the American Orchid Society). They range in dates from 1984 through 1992. If you are interested in a particular orchid species, a specific volume or author, or an individual article, Email Us directly.

For those plant people who gravitate toward epiphytic plants such as epiphytic cacti and epiphytic succulents, bromeliads, tillandsia's, hoyas, orchids and the flora which grow together with these epiphytic plants, E.P.R.I.C., the Epiphytic Plant Research and Information Centre of the EPRIC Foundation, is worthy of a virtual visit. In addition to conservation information and cultivation advice, an impressive inventory of books is available for sale.

Botanical Literature and Web Resources at The New York Botanical Gardens Library

Visit the LuEsther T. Mertz Library for botanical reference, and the bookshop for New York Botanical Gardens Press titles in print. The LuEsther T. Mertz Library is one of the world's largest and respected of botanical and horticultural research libraries, with over one million accessioned items including books, journals, original art and illustration, seed and nursery catalogs, architectural plans of glass houses, scientific reprints, and photographs. Its diverse collections hold irreplaceable materials that date back to the 12th century, as well as electronic resources such as e-journals and searchable research databases.


Gardening HQ

is a site full of links for resources for all aspects of gardening, including: regional, biodynamic, container, children's, butterfly, community, companion planting, greenhouse, desert, lunar, gothic, herb, organic, moss gardening, zen, xeriscape, winter, urban, tropical, shade, natural and many, many more topics and sub-specialties.



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IV. Small Independent Online Booksellers Need Your Support

The Independent Online Booksellers Association.

Review their code of ethics, book terminology and description definitions. Also discover feature articles about book-related topics, seminars, workshops and author interviews. To visit the online bookshops of IOBA booksellers, visit iobabooks.com


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V. Some Neighborhood Online Bookshops


    • Bananafish Books An online used bookstore located in Pennsylvania, featuring thousands of used books, rare books, and out-of-print books, with an emphasis on: art, science, history, biography, religion, women's studies, children's books, and much more. Proud member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA).

    • Bookmaven Bookmaven, Out-Of-Print, First Edition, Antiquarian, and Unusual books.

    • Books at Star Dot Star We're passionate about books, always have been, always will be. We therefore supply other bibliophiles (and other readers in general) with an eclectic mix of rare, used, out-of-print and antiquarian books ephemera and other collectible objects.

    • The Online Book Store Offering friendly service along with a large and always growing library of helpful how-to digital books.

    • Leonard Roberts, Bookseller (IOBA) Specialties: Victorian Illustrated Poetry and Pre-Raphaelites. Vancouver, Canada.

    • Heritage Book Shop is an internationally renowned antiquarian book shop specializing in fine copies of rare books and first editions.

    • Browse books available from other bibliophiles-just type your search terms such as title, author or keywords into the Google box:

    • Browse books in some of our other neighborhood online bookstores. Use quotation marks around your search terms to further narrow your results:

    • Used books, out-of-print books, rare books at Biblio




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