A Book of Puddings

Book of Puddings

A Book of Puddings | an unpublished scrapbook
by Kathleen A Christmas
c.1892
Hollow back, fully bound in green sheep skiver, embossed with a straight grain.
185x228x30 (WHD)

CONDITION

BINDING The volume in was in several pieces, with both boards detached and deteriorated at the edges. The corners were worn and fragile, particularly at the front board bottom foredge. The spine cover was not present and the spine lining was loose, as was the back board cover.

TEXT BLOCK Many of the folios were damaged and split at the spine. There was substantial staining throughout the book from food debris and ink, but no ink corrosion was apparent. The paper had survived well apart from the spine, with minor repairs along the edges.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Many additional newspaper cuttings were stored throughout binding, which may have been the cause of the spine splitting. Page 55 also had evidence of previous repairs, possibly contemporary with the binding, which were to be kept in place.

TREATMENT

TEXTBLOCK

  • Cleaned using a chemical sponge.
  • Additional material was paginated.
  • Previous repairs were removed for sewing and re-adhered in the same location.
  • Folios were guarded using Tengujo 11gsm to reduce bulk, and Kozo Shi 23gsm, where stronger repairs were necessary.
  • Where folios were completely split, kozo shi 23gsm was used on the outside to produce structure and Tengujo 11gsm used on the inside to add support.
  • Pages that were deliberately cut by the owner and were too short for resewing, were extended using kozo shi 23gsm.
  • Fragile edges were consolidated with MC 5%.
  • Text block was resewn with linen thread onto three linen sewing stations.
  • Three pages were too wide for the book, these were pulled back and adhered to the spine with japanese tissue to prevent protrusion.
  • Deacidification of newsprint articles with Bookkeeper.
  • Digital records of all inserted material stored on compact disc.

SPINE

  • Sewing was removed.
  • Adhesive removed from adhered sections – animal glue, removed with hot water and cellulose powder.
  • Spine lined with two layers of Kozo Shi, leaving wide overhangs to attach boards.
  • Spine then lined with Griffen Mill 80gsm Falcon Laid and sanded to remove sewing station swell.

BINDING

  • Leather was lifted around the board edges in preparation of the board reattachment and edge repair.
  • Leather was consolidated using Cellugel.
  • Corners were built up using Manila pulp and wheat starch paste, and then covered in a toned Japanese tissue
  • Boards were attached using linen sewing stations, which were frayed for better adhesion, along with the extended spine lining.
  • Goatskin, was paired and toned with selaset dyes, then lined with fraynot for added strength.
  • Compensation strips in leather, were adhered to the board edges adjacent to the spine.
  • The volume was then rebacked with the new goatskin spine and the loose leather was re-adhered around new spine piece and corners.
  • Creation of four flap folder, with inbuilt manilla textblock to hold inserted material.
  • Creation of a clamshell box for final enclosure.

Prints by Four Artists

Prints by Four Artists

Artist book of prints by four artists
c. 1641
Fully bound in green parchment
343x504x53 (WHD)

CONDITION

BINDING The heavy parchment cover was damaged in several places, including a piece missing from the back-board and a frayed split down the spine. The cover was pasted onto the boards, and also either lined or placed on lined boards. The boards were warped and had heavy corner damage. Other than this they were fairly solid and reusable.

TEXTBLOCK was packed sewn, though it was mostly broken. There was heavy paper damage with tears along the spine, the edges of the book and two loose leaves. The edges were brittle throughout the book . It was extremely dirty throughout.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION There were two heavily damaged and unusable green ties.

TREATMENT

  • Mechanically cleaned throughout with a chemical sponge.
  • Pulled apart the sewing, keeping the back board and final section attached together as it was part of the last section.
  • Carried out paper repairs to the textblock and section folds using various appropriate Japanese tissue.
  • Consolidated corners of the boards,including recreating one using layered grey board. They were left uncovered.
  • Pressed the boards to flatten where possible, without humidification.
  • Attached new cords to the old cords by sewing and pasting them together.
  • Resewed the sections with packed sewing, using the back board as the primary section to sew from, as final section was still attached.
  • Cords were laced into the boards using the original method.
  • Spine backed with PaperNao K37.
  • Rebacked with parchment, toned with Selaset Dyes.
  • Created and attached a net pouch to preserve the green ties.

The Holy Bible

IMG_1066 feature

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.

CONDITION

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.

TREATMENT

  • 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.

Penrhyn Archive Jamaican Estate Slave Accounts

Penrhyn Archive Jamaican Estate Slave Accounts

Penrhyn Archive Jamaican Estate Slave Accounts, Bangor University Archives
c.18th Century
Single section pamphlets of handmade paper, stab-sewn through a plain or marble-paper cover
Project for National Conservation Service
Report written by Mary Garner

DECONTAMINATION, CONSERVATION & DIGITISATION

The items treated in this project come from the Penrhyn Estate archive, deposited at the Bangor University Archives in North Wales. The project included a series of 32 paper account pamphlets from Jamaican estates. The accounts include names, roles and other details of slaves working on the estates and as such are of considerable significance historically and for their descendants researching their family histories. They are striking and disturbing documents, with slaves ‘accounted’ for as resources; for example death is referred to as a ‘decrease in slaves’ and birth as an ‘increase in slaves’.

The items have suffered from extensive water damage and damp, causing excessive mould growth, fading, weakness and discolouration. The project aim was to decontaminate and stabilise the collection and to digitise the account papers. The programme of digitisation was carried out after cleaning but prior to conservation treatments. This enabled capture of the documents in their found state and so that any repairs did not interfere with legibility of the text. Digitisation would also minimise unnecessary handling of items in the future, which while strengthened would remain vulnerable.

The main issues within this project were the presence of fugitive iron gall inks and mould damage. Iron gall ink is prone to fading and deterioration due to instability inherent in the ink composition and the varying recipes it has been historically made with. Since 2004 Mould has been classed as a Category 1 risk to health as assessed under the Health and Safety Hazards Rating System (HHSRS) – the same class as asbestos for example. The HHSRS risk assessment has been legislation in England & Wales since 2006, under the Health & Safety Act. The material in this collection had considerable mould infection and presented a definable risk to staff and users. For this reason it was vitally important to remove mould growth and endeavour to denature the spores remaining in the paper. Mould damage and bacteria cause heavy darkening and discolouration which renders documents illegible over time, in some cases causing a problem with digitisation.

The items comprised single section pamphlets of handmade paper, stab-sewn through a plain or marble-paper cover. The paper had become very fibrous and fragile and easily prone to further damage from handling. Many had large areas of loss and some pages had become stuck together. The sewing structures had disintegrated and in some cases no longer held folios into signatures.

Cleaning was carried out with soft brushes and a museum vacuum where applicable, on a Bassaire extraction unit with an ultra fine ULPA filter. Due to the weakened state of so many of the paper documents and their covers, strengthening and stabilisation was achieved by consolidation of fibres and support and repair to areas of loss and damage. Consolidation using 1% hydroxpropycellulose (‘Klucel G’) in isopropanol had the added advantage of safely denaturing the mould spores in the fibres in the treated areas. Klucel G 3% in isopropanol was also used as an adhesive for lens and Japanese tissue repairs to tears and areas of loss.

The old paper covers were in severely degraded condition and while some could be repaired, nonetheless they would continue to be weak and not provide suitable protection. On this occasion it was decided to commission new hand-made marble papers for new covers. The marble-papers were lined with an archival quality paper to make them slightly stiffer and the cleaned, digitised and repaired pamphlets were re-sewn into them. Archival sleeves were also made for each account to be housed in.

Peasant Poet John Clare’s Bible

This is a volume that I have recently completed as part of my work with the National Conservation Service. The John Clare Bible was initially acquired by the poet in 1813; he has signed the inside front cover and dated it. The bible itself is much older than this, dating back to 1639 when it was published by Robert Baker. It has since been presented to The Peterborough Museum by Mr J. Lee, Mr J. W. T. Meehan and Mr. J. C. Sturton and is currently in the care of the Peterborough City Archive, a member of NCS.

IMG_0049

Much of the damage this book had suffered was believed to have been caused by its owner. The bible was subjected to extensive wear and tear from constant use and a partly itinerant lifestyle. He is understood to have made several attempts to repair the book and reattach the loose boards. Taking this into account, the aim of the project was to take a minimal approach to maintain what are thought to be his own repairs,  while making it possible to be handled from time to time.

 

 

Before
Before
After
After

Description and condition of the book prior to treatment
Before treatment, the front board had become detached from the volume, except for a small amount of sewing threads keeping it loosely attached. The back board was mostly detached, with two of the four cords broken. Both boards had loose leather that was curling where no longer attached to the board. The first four sections of the volume had suffered substantial damage due to the lack of protection from the front board. Many of the folios were split at the spine, making re-sewing largely impossible without substantial changes. These sections had become detached from the volume. The final section was also damaged, though not to such a great extent.

The cords on the spine were considerably shortened at the front of the book, making re-sewing the loose sections and reattaching the front board impossible in its current state. Both endbands were broken into two, though the sewing on both appeared to be stable and not frayed.

Before
Before
After
After

Conservation treatments
Repairs to the damaged and loose pages were undertaken using sympathetically toned paper as minimally as possible. Heavily creased folios were humidified, misaligned folios were reshaped and reinforced and heavily damaged folio spines reconstructed. The original cords were extended using a similar weight cord to both front and back board and attaching them by sewing onto the existing cord remains to ensure a strong bond. This allowed the loose sections to be re-sewn onto the volume.

To ensure strong reattachment, the boards were split at the spine edge and the cords inserted into the boards and pressed together with adhesive. To repair the endbands a small dowel was inserted to join the two broken parts at each end. These were then re-adhered to the spine using a ‘spider’ tissue. Finally the loose parts of the leather on the spine and boards were re-adhered to the book.

Before
Before
Humidification of sections
Humidification of sections
After
After

The outcome was a stronger and less vulnerable volume with its old repair threads still in place and still showing the book as clearly a worn and used thereby retaining its original character.

The Principles and Practice of Medicine

The Principles and Practice of Medicine
by William Osler, M.D., F.R.C.P
c.1897
Full case binding, hollow-back, blue buckram cloth with gold-foiled title on spine
Young J. Pentland, Edinburgh and London

This is one of the first modern general medical textbooks by a man named Osler. My client, himself a Doctor, asked me to repair it as it is a family heirloom, originally belonging to his great Uncle, who was also a prolific doctor of his time.

CONDITION

BINDING The volume had sustained substantial damage to the spine covering, which was adhered to the boards by pressure sensitive tape. The spine itself was misshapen and weakened due to inserted material. Both boards were detached and had ware to each of their corners

TEXTBLOCK Several pages throughout the book had been damaged through general use and the endpapers were loose. The back endpaper had written ephemera on its adjacent fly-leaf, which had been damaged along the foredge due to the page being loose.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION There was a substantial amount of inserted material, mostly newspaper articles associated with the relevant chapters within the book. These were causing the sewing along the spine to split. At the beginning of the volume were a selection of needles inserted into the contents page causing rust to the page.

TREATMENT

  • Tape was removed from the spine piece and boards using heat and a crepe eraser and the boards and spine piece were cleaned in preparation for repair.
  • The spine lining was removed and the weak sewing was reinforced using linen thread.
  • A new spine lining was attached and a false hollow created for the new spine.
  • The boards were reattached using a transverse lining in linen.
  • A new toned spine piece was created and attached to the boards.
  • The old spine with title was adhered onto the new spine.
  • The inserted material was removed with the locations recorded, and rehoused into a manila folder with a contents page showing the corresponding pages of the book.
  • The needles that were inserted into the volume were left in their original location to prevent substantial change to the personal input to the volume by the original owner, and they were consolidated to prevent further rusting onto the pages.

As an interesting extra, the original owner had kept several needles, skewering them onto one of the first pages, with dates – unfortunately neither myself nor my client were able to ascertain what they were from – personally I would assume the worst and imagine they were weapons of death, but that may be wayward imagination. My client informed me that these days all medical needles are curved, whereas these were straight.