Every now and then someone surprises me and asks if Bookmobile’s book printing and book binding is archival quality. The answer is YES! Our paper is acid free. We print for university presses. We print for museums. We print books about the history of binding and printing. Would we be doing any of the above work if our quality wasn’t archival-grade A+? No.
If you’re interested in the details, first, let’s talk about paper: all of Bookmobile’s interior and cover stocks, hardcover boards, end sheets, and case wraps are acid-, lignin-, and sulfur-free. From Wikipedia,
Acid-free paper is paper that if infused in water yields a neutral or basic pH (7 or slightly greater). It can be made from any cellulose fiber as long as the active acid pulp is eliminated during processing. It is also lignin- and sulfur-free. Acid-free paper addresses the problem of preserving documents and artwork for long periods.
And for binding, we use ethylene-vinyl acetate glue (EVA). EVA glue is tough, flexible, and resistant to stress cracks and UV radiation. As a digital printer, we’re printing with toner, and it has the same excellent life expectancy as ink.
Roughly 35% of the books we produce at Bookmobile are for university presses. University presses were early adopters of short-run digital printing, so from the start, we knew we had to meet their quality standards. The library market is essential to university press sales, so our production meets library standards for archiving. You can see examples of the books we’ve printed for university presses in our Gallery, as well as samples of books we’ve printed for museums, galleries, and artists.
As for books we’ve produced about printing and binding, and publishing as well, there have been too many to list here, but a few that came to mind are Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American Publishers, University of Iowa Press; Bookrolls and Scribes in Oxyrhynchus, University of Toronto Press; Old Books and New Histories: An Orientation to Studies in Book and Print Culture, University of Toronto Press; and The Peter Pauper Press of Peter and Edna Beilenson, Tampa Press.
Any more questions for me? Let me know!