Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preservation Work

I will be embarking soon on a new project for my aunt and her church and so I'm of a mood to post pictures. My bookbinding skills will be needed for this one! They discovered in the church belfry an old collection of hymnals, most of which are filthy, damaged, and incomplete. They chose a few of the best copies and I am going to clean, repair, and piece together one whole bound copy in its entirety. I have a few "Before" photos just to show the condition they are in.

I know this layout is a little icky (I seem to have trouble getting things to look nice unless I want to invest the time in messing with the html), but you can see the front cover (the best one), some of the middle section, and below there are photos of the back cover and of the few others in worse condition.

On the subject of bookbinding, while I was putting together a PowerPoint for a class I'm guest lecturing, I found some photos I took over a year ago of a leather-bound book. I repaired it in the lab, which is a treatment we only do rarely. Using a wheat starch paste that we cooked in lab, I was able to reattach the boards with muslin strips. I simulated cords by separating the ends of the strips and attaching one side underneath the board (and under the marbled endsheets) and the other side on top of the board (under the layer of leather). A later photo shows the hollow core I adhered to the spine (again using wheat starch paste). The core is made of japanese tissue paper and is glued in stages, keeping it open inside using a strip of mylar. The mylar was removed once the core was dry. The third photo shows the dark brown italian canapetta that I used for the spine, while the fourth shows the original leather spine readhered. It was still mostly intact and I wanted to preserve it.

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