2. Photocopying the Sections

Part of the Bookbinding Tutorial
by Douglas W. Jones
THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Department of Computer Science

When talking with a photocopy shop about copying what is obviously a book, they'll demand permission to make a copy. I got permission the obvious way, by calling the publisher. It took two weeks and a few phone calls, mostly to toll-free 800 numbers, where one person referred me to another, who referred me to another. Once it was clear to the right person that my interest was in what they considered to be an obsolete product, they asked me to fax them a letter requesting permission to make the copy, and some time later, they faxed me a reply granting surprisingly broad permission to reprint their material, conditional only on my including a note that the copies were made by permission, and on my inclusion of an appropriate copyright notice.

The Library of Congress guidelines for Preservation Photocopying require an added note, on a page added to the copy itself that identifies the copy as such and includes, if necessary, the copyright statement applying to the copy. The note should identify the nature of any change to the original that was made in copying, including a note on the degradation of the content, if any. For example, if the original contained photographs or colored inks that do not copy well, this should be noted!

Since you most likely have over 100 sheets of paper that need copying, check a variety of photocopying houses, looking for a good price. Your taped pairs of pages are too fragile to be put through an automatic sheet feeder, and because they are slightly undersize, they will need to be hand centered on the glass of the copying machine. In this day of $0.05 per page do-it-yourself photocopies, most photocopying houses will charge you extra for hand placement of originals. When I copied DEC's Introduction to Programming, the handling charge was $0.05 per page, but some places charge up to $0.25.

You've done a bit of work to make up page pairs, and you'll want the copies to last, so get them photocopied on archival paper; 25% cotton bond typically costs a penny or two extra per sheet, and for a bit more, you can get strange things like slightly greenish acid free hemp paper. To be technical, specify that the paper used satisfy ANSI/ISO standard Z39.48, Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives, or ASTM standard D3458 Standard Specification for Copies from Office Copy Machines for Permanent Records. Paper satisfying these standards should be marked as such on the wrapper for each ream.

For DEC's 1973 Introduction to Programming, the total cost of bond paper, copying and special handling came to $0.20 a two-sided sheet for the first copy and $0.11 a sheet for all subsequent copies. That means that my first photocopy of the entire book cost $30.40, while subsequent copies cost $16.72.

It is worth noting that a well made xerographic photocopies seems to stand up very well to the test of time if they are properly made and properly stored. Toner is subject to chemical degradation, most notably if it is stored in the presence of vinyl or stored under pressure in a hot environment. Vinyl binders, dust jackets and similar threats are very common, and over time, the chemical interaction between the vinyl and the xerographic toner softens the toner and causes it to stick. This effect begins with photocopies in physical contact with a vinyl surface, but over time, it can extends through many pages.

Xerographic toner is a thermoplastic that is melted into the paper after the image is deposited. Insufficient melting, caused either by a poorly adjusted fuser in the photocopyer or an excessively thick toner layer will result in a copy that sits on the surface of the paper and tends to wear off with use. To avoid such problems, use a well-maintained copier and set the copy darkness control to the lightest setting that gives an good looking copy.

The National Archives suggests a testing procedure for archival photocopies, the peel test, using 3M #230 drafting tape pressed firmly to a photocopy and then slowly peeled off. Details of this test are given in Archival Copies of Thermofax, Verifax and Other Unstable Records by Norvell Jones, National Archives Technical Information Paper Number 5 (1990). In short, if any toner pulls off on the drafting tape when it is peeled off from a photocopy, the copy does not meed archival standards.

You have just destroyed a copy of a book that is out of print, so why not make a few extra copies; it brings down the per-copy price, and if you make one extra copy on good paper, and keep it unbound, you can get more copies at a moment's notice. Unlike your paste-ups, the extra copy will be on good paper, so it can be put through an automatic sheet feeder, avoiding special handling charges on future copies.

To minimize the problems you have with your photocopying house, provide them with the jig you used to paste up your pages and say you want them centered exactly as shown by the outlines on that jig. Then give them the jig and say they're free to cut out the center of the page and stick it to the glass of their photocopying machine with Post-It tape to help them center the copy. If they screw up the centering, you can and should get hard nosed about it; it's your money!

Finally, tell them to keep the sections together! Make it clear that you don't want your pages shuffled. Collating costs a bit extra, so I decided to do it myself, but I asked them to cleanly separate each signature from the next in the stack of copies I got, and to keep the sheets in order. They did.