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Like many, I have album covers with split seams. Some are just regular LPs, some are considered valuable collectible titles. What effect does repair of split seams have on value ?
For example, I have successfully used a very narrow strip of clear packing tape to fix a bad seam. The strip is just enough to cover the seam, with about a 1-2mm overlap onto the front and back sides of the cover. The result is almost invisible, and one generally has to look for the repair to see it. I have been told that my repair method is considered "bad" within collector circles.
What do people use to clean dirty covers, in a way that does not cause further deterioration or color bleeding ?
Anyone else have experience to share ?
The "Long Term' storage packing tape is less sticky. And it can be peeled off if it gets stuck. I use it on less than shiny paper covers..
I use it sliding it across the surface to pick up grunge. Even on fuzzy paper, if it gets stuck, it 'usually' can be removed with no damage..
On semi-gloss, or shiny covers I can use Meguiars Scratch X on a paper towel to rub the surface clean. It also helps to refresh the color sometimes.
This obviously won't directly help you, but my wife, who has a background in both bookbinding and picture framing, did an amazingly good job of fixing split seams with Elmer's glue (and a lot of patience). Some years ago I sold a number (100 or so) of highly collectible mostly Blue Note and Prestige original issues on ebay, many of them with seams repaired this way, and never received a single complaint. She's also done a number of covers for LPs that I've kept and they've held up extremely well.
It will not increase the value & most likely will devalue it.
I clean covers because I like them clean. I repair covers because I do not like splits.
I am not worried I may be reducing the resale value..
(I have bought local used records (not many) with the dreaded multiple strips of old shriveled Scotch tape five inches too long up and across the covers.. yeah it sucks, but if the record is one I want...)
Then you got owners names scrawled across in magic marker.. Or library stickers..
Water damage.. I DO get pissed when I buy an LP locally, and discover the cover was water damaged, but I did not catch it BEFORE I bought it.
There's nothing wrong with sprucing up your albums. glossy covers, a damp wipe down with a mild cleaner.
Split seams & other ware & tear, what ever makes a person happy as long as, if the album is being sold, all repairs are divulged.
After all the question was "Does repairing a cover affect the value of the album".
All albums I have bought new still look good. Used, well some show there providence & that's they way they are.
What I'm really amassed at is finding a worn cover & clean sounding recording.
I don't have anything I believe is highly collectable, 'cause I'm in it for the music, but record collecting is a whole 'nother hobby.
I've listened to a few radio shows where the guest for the night was a record collecting expert. They'd take phone calls, and he'd tell people that their rare Elvis record, which they personally had autographed by Elvis, was actually devalued by the autograph.
Any amateur repairs to something truly rare will, as painter27 indicated, likely devalue it.
For a music lover's collection, with generic LPs, the advice already given should suffice. I'd add to use acid free glue when gluing, if that hasn't already been mentioned.
"Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be. 'Cause now I'm an amputee" J. Lennon
Value? C'mon ! your heirs ie; grandkids will donate YOUR collection to the local Thrift shop.
How do you think LPs get there :-)
Or often just put them out in the trash.
Just Cardboard sleeves .. containing a Mass market product.
Nothing Precious about them at all imo.
If you aren't kidding... can I have your records? :)
Here is a thread I made at AudioKarma where I had a mint cover of "My Fair Lady" with permanent marker.
Agree with Manny- if it's a collector's item, don't touch it.
I have some LP's bought 50 years ago and any tape repair gets old and yellow and either flakes off, or sticks forever in some place you don't want it to! Probably shouldn't use tape if you're in it for the long haul.
For day-to-day listening faves, you can make a reasonably invisible repair by smoothing a tiny line of "clear washable school glue" - see link- along a split seam. Apply sparingly so it doesn't squeeze into the inside of the jacket, and wipe off excess with a damp rag. Smooth down the frayed selvedges into the glue. (I do this under a lighted magnifier with the tip of an Exacto #1 when I feel fussy.) Clamp the seam beneath a stiff ruler for an hour or 2 then let it dry fully. It sounds more complex than it is- only takes a few minutes.
When fully dry, the split edges are pretty well bonded and can withstand careful handling. My local EllPeeHut puts these out for sale when I trade them in (thinning the herd these days) so they think they look OK.
I use a damp rag to clean covers, the rag is actually this weird black as-seen-on-teevee "European" cleaning cloth that wrings out almost dry and leaves only a tiny sheen of water. Note than nothing cleans off ringwear and sometimes cleaning the sleeve makes the ringwear look worse, so be gentle.
Warm any labels with a hair-dryer (remove the LP!) and most peel off OK. Occasionally I'll apply a little WD40 to shiny jackets to get off gum from labels, but if it dissolves gummy stuff it also can dissolve ink, so use with great care.
I'd suggest contacting the Library of Congress. Their conservators are experts at this kind of thing and they will likely be able to give you some useful advice over the phone.
I wouldn't use tape for the reason Manny mentioned.
Instead, cut a strip a little over 1/2" wide from a manila file folder. Cut to length for the album. Using a straight-edge or ruler, fold the strip in half lengthwise. If there is original cardboard material inside the jacket (from the original fold over) you may want to remove that. Then glue the manilla strip inside the edges of the jacket. That should be strong and yet thin enough not to make replacing the record difficult.
To clean non-glossy covers, try an art gum eraser. Be cautious not to rub too hard.
For stickers and price labels I find a heat gun and butter knife do a better job than liquid solvents.
"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk
I think the reason tape is frowned upon is that eventually the glue will cause yellowing or some other deterioration of the cover.
I clean many album covers with a moist towel believe it or not. Done carefully and only on covers that are supposed to be glossy, I find that a careful and LIGHT application of a soft cotton towel can remove years of nicotine and other stains without harming the cover. In fact, it often makes them look brand new.
I find that a lot of thrift store covers are marked by the staff with a price and isopropyl alcohol is good at removing marker without damage to the sheen on the cover.
It depends on the cover. If it's an older matte cover that doesn't have that lacquer or whatever it is they used to make them shiny, then you're probably not going to be able to do much. Those "naked" covers will absorb liquid and be ruined instantly.
A very valuable cover with a split is best left alone and put in a plastic cover with the album on the outside. If it's a VERY expensive collector album then maybe talking to a paper conservator is in order. But most will be well preserved (and kept from further damage) with the former method.
...or other specialized materials. There is really no solution that will please everyone.
With a collectible title, the usual thing is to put the record with the inner sleeve in a blank sleeve, and put the whole thing with the original jacket in a plastic sleeve.
and placed them behind the cover (inner opening to side) in the mylar outer. Prevents seam splits, keeps dust out. I don't try to do many repairs, I never use tape. I use naphtha for stickers sometimes.
When I'm selling a record, I don't mess with it, I let the buyer do the deed.
I do that to all of my LPs. I cannot count the number of covers I have seen with split edges and this is not just the used LPs. I have received brand new pressings with the edges split.
Storing your LPs with the cover separate from the vinyl in a poly bag takes up more room on the shelf too. It's just thicker stored that way.
On gatefold cover LPs I store the vinyl inside the gatefold. I remove everything from the cover and place it between the two sides of the cover.
For box sets its different. Removing the LPs from covers inside a box and placing them outside the cover sometimes creates a situation where everything will not fit inside the box. It depends on whether all of the covers and vinyl will fit. If not, I leave it as originally stored.
We don't shush around here!
Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
i ship them this way, but storage is at a premium in my house and they take up twice as much shelf space.
By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.
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