Jim, our Marking & Binding Assistant here in the Preservation Department, brought this new acquisition upstairs to the Conservation Lab. The splotches across the front of the book looked to his practiced eye like water damage, perhaps from a dripping beverage. However, given the book’s contents (photographs of the ocean at Naksan, Korea, with an absence of text), Jim started to think that perhaps the water marks on the front of the book could be a deliberate artistic effect.
Mindy McCoy, our Preservation Assistant, played detective and looked up the item online at Amazon. The Amazon image of the book shows only a solid, gray bookcloth.
It’s unfortunate that this book will be entering the collection in a damaged state, as there’s little we can — or would — do about water-stained bookcloth on a General Collections book. However, it’s a rare bit of luck that the damage is rather aesthetically harmonious with the book itself.