Below are terms that may be encountered when reading collections care literature. This is a growing list that will be updated during the course of the semester.
- Acid hydrolysis: the chemical reaction that degrades paper. It is caused by acids or some agents of deterioration light moisture and light. Oxidation will lead to this reaction.
- Boards: stiff binding material for books.
- Cellulose: the primary structural element of green plants. A paper-based product typically contains 95% cellulose fibers. Cellulose reflects so much light that the human eye perceives it as white. Oxygen and light will break down cellulose, causing oxidation and degradation.
- Deckle edges: untrimmed book pages.
- Ex libris: term typically seen on bookplates; may be interchanged with bookplate.
- Fascicle: separately published portion of a book. This method is chosen when a title requires work that is expected to extend over time (temporary divisions of a title).
- Foxing: an age-related process of deterioration that causes spots and browning on old paper. The stains are a reddish-brown color and are the oxidation of both organic and iron impurities left behind during the paper-making process. When the paper is exposed to high humidity or temperature, foxing will occur.
- Full binding: a book encased in leather.
- Hinge: inside portion of the flexible area where a book cover connects with the book spine.
- Joint: exterior flexible portion where the book cover meets the spine.
- Lignin: organic polymers that serve as a supportive binding for cellulose. Paper with a high lignin content is much more sensitive to oxidation by atmospheric oxygen. Modern paper producers use a bleaching process to remove or break down lignin to keep paper bright. Newspapers are printed on untreated paper, which is why the material yellows quickly.
- Oxidation: A chemical reaction that alters the paper structure and related regions in the paper called chromophores. Chromophores reflect wavelengths of light that we perceive as color. Oxidation leads to acid hydrolysis.
- Parts: stand-alone publications published in sequence and not intended to be bound (permanent divisions of a title).
- Perfect binding: the process of trimming the three non-spine edges of a book to create uniform pages.
- Red Rot: degradation process found in vegetable-tanned leather, visible through a powdery red substance that forms on the surface.
- Text block (book block): a book that is printed but not yet bound. Once bound, the interior pages also are referred to as the text or book block.
- Vellum: animal skin prepared as parchment for writing on or for binding books. The term may be interchanged with parchment.