Tuesday’s at St Brides

A little late I know, but last Tuesday was my first as a voluntary conservator at the St Brides Library in Blackfriars. It was a lovely day and I felt thoroughly welcomed into the team!

The start of the day was a discussion about the team, who is working on what and the changes that have recently taken place within the staff. Conveniently, the voluntary book conservator has just moved across to start working as a librarian at St Brides, so I have come just at the right moment it seems!

I was then given free reign of the collection to try and find myself an MA project, which I have been hoping to find within the library. There is a large amount work to be done on all sorts of books, and it’s going to be great to get to work on them, but a couple of books did stand out as potential projects for my course.

Some of the collection at st brides

I have taken some pictures below of the books, one very interesting one is a collection of German Chocolate box covers. This volume needed some substantial paper repairs, some tape removal and some spine repair. I can’t remember if it needed re-sewing or not, but it seemed like a good project.

Gold around some of the chocolate box covers
Some chocolate box covers

Another was a collection of four pamphlets in a box. Interestingly the paper within the pamphlets was of very good quality and in a good state, though their covers were heavily damaged by their lignin content and had become very brittle. In addition to this, the box was very badly damaged as well. So some interesting possibilities to work on!

The collection of four pamphlets and a damaged box
An interesting 18th century book using early printed material for paste downs
A 17th century vellum binding - fabulous!