conservation: full rebinding

  • full rebinding with new covers

    An example from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Bank of North America Collection. 

    When pulled from the library's stacks the volume was missing its front cover, and the back cover tied with it was incorrect. This left the textblock weak and vulnerable. The following pre-treatment images show the text block with the incorrect back cover. 

    book date: 1793 - 1796          book measurements: 10 x 15 x 1.3" 

    view of the text block, missing its front cover

    The pages contained beautiful manuscript writing and areas of embellishment. 

    view of the spine at the head of the book

    view of the foredge at the head of the book

    view of the spine at the tail of the book

    As the text block was already broken, the original leather had to be removed from the spine to allow for rebinding. A wheat paste poultice was applied to aid in the removal of the original spine leather. 

    view of the the spine after leather removal

    After assessing and cleaning the pages I mended the tears in the manuscript pages with both aqueous and non-aqueous methods where appropriate (see post-treatment photos below for an example of a non-aqueous mend). The non-aqueous mends were achieved with Japanese tissue pre-coated with Klucel-g and activated with ethanol.

    The folios, broken and deteriorated at their center, were guarded with Japanese tissue and wheat paste. After the signatures were reassembled and collated, I resewed the text block onto linen tapes with linen thread, including new endsheets of Bugra paper and airplane cotton to help attach the text block to its new covers.

    view of the resewn text block

    After sewing, the text block was rounded and backed, and several layers of Japanese tissue, Ingres paper, and Bugra paper were used as spine liners. 

    view of book with new spine linings

    After the text block was rebound, I created a new Bradel case in place of its missing covers. This case was constructed out of laminated boards, iris book cloth, paste paper made in-house, and dove's grey paper.  

    view of the new Bradel case, with spine labels

    view of the spine from the head of the book

    view of the foredge at the head of the book

    view of the spine at the tail of the book

    an example of a non-aqueous mend over iron gall ink script

    view of the interior of the cover, with new flyleaves of Bugra paper

    view of the completed conservation binding

    proceed to next conservation project