The newspapers not only serve as reinforcements, but also time stamp these vintage songbooks. This old-school repair harkens back to a time when we were better acquainted with repair and reuse, and reminds us that creative reuse is not just for artists, but for everyone.
Better with Age
While most of what we reclaim at RE is fairly recent material, we sometimes get treated to donations of vintage material. Recently we got a big box of sheet music, which seems to span the first fifty or so years of the twentieth century. Some of the songs and songbooks are in great shape -- we're looking forward to framing some of the more exciting art nouveau-inspired covers. Other, older songbooks are a little more troubled, with paper that crumbles under your fingers. Once upon a time, their creased bindings started to go, and their creative owner decided that they should be reinforced. "Once upon a time" must have been before today's packing-tape version of this repair existed, because these bindings are reinforced with strips of newspaper.