Might I take this opportunity to remind everyone that tape is not for sticking books back together. That’s all.
The projects coming in have been a selection of spine removals, tape removal, rehousing, rebacking and a full fine binding for an author based locally, which is going to be a great project get going on – so good stuff all around!
These lifting tools have been made from old hacksaw blades and are extremely useful for getting under spine pieces, end papers and for tape removal.
I also finally managed to get my little pamphlet bindings folded and in the press, they’ll be ready for trimming and sewing next week – watch this space for completed ones!
Phew! Busy week – don’t mention the map, it’s my nemesis.
The Holy Bible c. 1952 Full case binding, hollow-back, plain burgundy book cloth with blind-tooled border University Press, Cambridge (Brooke Crutchley, University Printer) 140x198x39 (WHD)
I completed this volume some months back for an lady who was keen to preserve the book before it fell apart completely. As with so many books owned by individuals, the monetary value of this book was minimal, but the sentimental value was priceless. It is a classic Holy Bible, given to the owner as a child by her Grandmother, and has been loved and treasured ever since. As is often the case with books of such high sentimental value, the volume had deteriorated from such regular use. I greatly enjoy working on these types of books, despite their lack of social status in the book world, as there is little thanks in the conservation world that will match that given by someone whose treasured book has been carefully conserved and given new life for years to come.
BINDING Both boards were attached to the case and the spine was in tact. The shoulders at head and tail were worn, as was the tail at the spine edge. All the corners had minor ware, more so at the head. The case was detached from the textblock at front and at back after the end papers and map. The mull was exposed, worn down and deteriorating, though the tapes were still in tact.
TEXTBLOCK Page 543 was loose. Front end papers, first plate and title page were loose and attached by tape. The front endpaper was heavily damage both by detachment and from tape damage, corner is missing and replaced by tape. The following page also had a missing corner replaced with tape that was discoloured and stained. The title page was detached and stuck together with tape, which discoloured and stained the page. The first page of text was stained by offset tape residue from the title page. The final map and adjacent pages had tape residue damage, both discolouration and staining. They were also slightly detached from textblock, though remained attached to the boards. The tape damage, in all cases, was covering tears to the paper.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION A green paper cover had been adhered together using tape, which was discoloured and stained. The head and tail spine edges of this cover were also worn and damaged.
Boards were removed, whilst keeping sewing tapes intact.
Front and back paste-downs were removed.
Paper repairs were made to loose pages, including infills to those with missing areas and reattachment where necessary by tipping.
Self adhesive tapes were removed and staining was reduced using a calcium hypochlorite bath, followed by washing to reduce the acidity.
The spine was re-lined and reinforced using an aero-cotton transverse lining.
The volume was then rebound using the original cover and the paste-downs were replaced using a sympathetic paper.
Hinges were inserted into the inside covers where necessary and the cover, spine and corners were consolidated.
Finally the paper cover was repaired and rehoused in melinex.
Cleaning book cloth has been part of this very busy week! In addition to working on my Essay book, both my Prayer book AND my Cooking in Colour book have seen action this week – it has been a super productive week on my part – along with setting up a studio – could a person fit more in a week I wonder? We will see!
So Cooking in Colour had a well timed resurgence this week with the work on tape removal, as you may recall the book was initially covered in brown packing tape. Well this has now all been removed and the tackiness and stain gone as well. Though technically not in keeping with conservation, I found that IMS cleaned up the cover of the book exceedingly well, so the cover is now showing a lot more blue and a lot less dirt. Arguably the dirt is part of the history of the book and should maybe be kept – but it’s my book and I’ll clean it if I want to! (tra la la laaa)
The Common Book of Prayer was also not left out this week either, as I have now got both end bands stuck down, the excess paper removed and the first loose section secured. All that is left now is for me to practice my Japanese tissue board attachments and it’s done. That will mean more toning, so may take me a couple of hours.
We have all been asked to bring in dilapidated books, preferably ones that require re-sewing. Togther we’ve brought in a range of interesting books, mine is actually something I had on my bookshelf at home already. It is a cloth case bound book that belonged to my grandfather – a very colourful cookery book from the 60’s/70’s, which I rescued from a clear out some years back with the thought of conserving it, so am quite chuffed I’m actually getting round to doing it! Some pictures below show the book as it looks like in its current state, it also has a lot of little inserts in it with my grandparent’s and mother’s writing, which is quite entertaining!
Apparently the tape is going to be tough to get off (thanks Grandma!!). The endpapers are an integral part of the book, and can’t be discarded or replaced, so I will have to try and get them off…! Our tutor will be coming round to each of us and explaining how we must go about conserving our books, which will take time. So in the meantime, we have started three flat back books, to practice our binding techniques. Here are mine so far:
As you can see I have been practicing using the sewing frame, which I’m starting to love a little bit – I’m not quite used to sitting sideways as they did in days past, as I can’t get my arm round the frame properly, however I’ve seen an etching of women sewing with their arms through the frame, which seems a lot more logical – so I might try that next! One of my classmates, Salvador, also told me that book sections were sewn in large batches on long stretches of tape, and then split up after sewing into separate books – so that’s some thing else to try!
I’ve also been practicing my marbling (again!!!), with a little more success this time – thanks to another classmate, Naomi, who has given me some Carragean moss for the ink to sit on, and some good instructions (previous attempts were so shameful, there were demoted to making cards!). So I am going to try and cover these books with my new papers – watch this space to see what they’re like – exciting!!!