Monday, April 03, 2017

The trouble with old family bibles




DearREADERS,
Lynn Southerland writes:
"Hello, I recently received a old family bible for safe keeping. It's at least 100 years old (circa 1916) based on the dates in the bible and is fairly large - roughly 8 in x11 in in size and about 5-6 inches thick (so it's pretty heavy as well). The cover/binding is also starting to pull away from the pages and the pages themselves are already discolored with a few of the family history pages completely loose from the rest of the binding. I believe the cover is leather. I know I shouldn't take it to just anyone for restoration but do you have any tips or questions I should be asking when searching for a reputable bookbinder? Any advice you could give would be appreciated. Thank you."

The trouble with old family bibles is that rebinding means a portion of all pages must be trimmed off on the inside to accept the new binding.

It has been my practice not to encourage rebinding. I do however, encourage all to find a Hollinger box of suitable size, or purchase the supplies to make one to fit. See: http://www.hollingermetaledge.com and Adjustable Book Storage Boxes from the same company. Oft times Amazon.com offers the same items for less.

As you can see from the image seven images in this post, Ol' Myrt is in the same boat. In fact the cover has completely separated from the pages of the Weiser Family Bible in my possession. The title page is missing about 2 inches on all sides and a handkerchief and other papers have been inserted inside the front cover.


 But I think you'll agree we wouldn't trade this tattered bible page for anything in the world.


This certifies that
Charles Switzer Weiser of Dehli, Delaware Co., Ohio and
Eliza Maria Wasden of Gunnison, Sanpete Co., Utah
were by me united 
In Holy Matrimony
According to the ordinance of God and the Laws of the
Terr. of Idaho at Shoshone
on the 25th Day of July in the year of
Our Lord
One thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty three.
TS White, Justice of the Peace
WG Martin & EE Cunningham, Witnesses.












Some things are so old and fragile there is nothing more we can do than to make digital copies of the pertinent pages and store the original items in archival safe materials.

My good friend Elsie Naylor sent a circa 1690 family bible to be rebound. Removed completely were the inside covers where family name/date notations were made. The book binder said "I threw away those scribbled pencil notations." Elsie was heartbroken.

Happy family tree climbing!
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