Got back on the bench for the first time in a long while. This tape residue on a beautiful handtooled binding just demanded to be picked at… On further inspection, I saw that it had a binder’s signature: “Bound by Ramage”. John Ramage was a […]
During my hunt for more signed bindings in Fletcher Library, I came across these attractive publishers bindings. Both have a distinctive monogram on their front covers: an overlapping double “D”, which identifies them as the work of the Decorative Designers firm.
Three different approaches to general collections conservation treatment (from L-R):
- Reusing the original boards and spine, with the spine and boards rejoined together using new bookcloth
brand new case made with all new decorative elements, and no reuse of
any materials from the original case, with some artistic liberties taken
compared to the original binding design, which was a red quarter
leather binding with marbled paper sides
- A brand new case made, but reusing the decorative elements of the original cover and as well as using new bookcloth that matched the original color scheme
For all of these books, the covers had separated entirely from their bindings, and there was significant damage to the original covers that prevented me from just reattaching the cover in one piece. I removed the original spine linings, then added new linings of tissue, cambric (a type of fabric), and paper before I recased them.
It’s not everyday that I get a general collections book that’s older than the U.S.A. come across my desk. This one was in a tacky modern binding, both ugly and completely unsympathetic to the original binding structure it probably once had. When I opened it […]
Since I started working at ASU Library in 2013, I have had many opportunities to give planned and impromptu tours of the conservation lab. I maintain a “teaching collection” of bookbinding and conservation demonstration materials, which come in handy when a tour group drops in […]
I created this binding in 2017, and it was shown as part of the “Blown Cover” show from 2-5-17 through 3-19-17 at the Burton Barr Library in Phoenix, AZ
To create this artist’s book, I modified a 19th century Bible (gifted to me by a family member), which had a very interesting piece of printer’s waste that had been used for the spine lining. The printer’s waste had the image of a well-to-do woman’s profile on it, with the fold of the original hollow perfectly aligned along the woman’s neck.
I embroidered the detached spine lining and the back of the textblock itself with gold colored acrylic thread and glass beads, and embellished it further with gold leaf paint and gold Sharpie markers.
I then reattached the spine to the boards along the back joint using Moriki tissue and wheat starch paste. I left it unattached at the front joint, so that the embroidered spine lining could still be viewed.
In 2016, I traveled on behalf of ASU Library to Myanmar to present a series of workshops and presentations about library preservation over the course of two weeks in October. The first week of the program consisted of two hands-on training workshops in basic book […]
Information about this item Date: September 7, 2007 Conservator: Suzy Morgan Instructor: Chela Metzger Call Number/Collection: Personal Author: n/a Imprint: Philadelphia, 1830 Title: Journal of Health, Volume 1 Collation/foliation: 50 double-folio sections, sewn three-on. Format: Quarto Dimensions (binding): H 22.4 x W 14.7 x T […]
Information about this item
- Date: July 2009
- Conservator: Suzy Morgan
- Call Number/Collection: SPEC 831.5 061d, Northwestern University Library, Special Collections
- Author: Martin Opitz
- Imprint: Breslau, 1637
- Title: Martini Opitti Deutscher Poematum
- Dimensions (binding): H 22.4 x W 14.7 x T 3 (cm)
- Dimensions (text block): H 21.7 x W 13.5 x T 2.7 (cm)
CONDITION AND DESCRIPTION SUMMARY
This is a contemporary, full parchment binding with wooden boards laced on with 3 leather sewing supports and 2 parchment tapes. The endbands are made of blue and white linen thread sewn over a core of binder’s waste (parchment), which is laced into the boards. The spine has a moderate round and shallow sho ulder. There are no spine linings except for the parchment tapes and leather sewing supports. The textblock is comprised of handmade, laid paper that has been printed with a black printer’s ink. There is a visible type impression. The front pastedown is adhered only along the spine-edge of the board, where the parchment tapes extend onto the board. There is a spine label at the head that reads “Opitz 1637” and a paper label at the tail spine with the call number.
Both boards are split, with the front board completely split into two pieces. There is also a loss in the front wood board, at the head along the split. There is a minor split at the head on the back board. The parchment is scarred, torn and stained. There is a loss in the parchment on the spine, at the head. There is a split in the parchment along the back joint, halfway down the spine from the head. The parchment has shrunk vertically, exposing the front board edge and the headband. The headband is loose and nearly detached from where it was laced into the boards. The textblock consolidation is in good condition. The edges of the textblock are sooty. There are several tears within the textblock at the following pages: 9, 315, 347, 350, 351, 355, 395. The last page is detached (p 697) from the textblock.
The front pastedown is tattered along the edges.
The front board has detached from the textblock and the sewing supports are split at the joint on the front board.
- Remove and line pastedown (and reattach as flyleaf).
- Unwrap parchment from front fore-edge to mend split in wood.
- Lift tapes from front board to release case.
- Use Paraloid B-72 to consolidate wooden boards along split, and a mixture of sawdust and B-72 to reattach the two pieces to each other.
- Rebridge sewing supports and reattach case to textblock.
- Mend losses in the parchment along the spine.
- Mend tears in textblock.
- Removed the front paste-down mechanically and lined it with Tengujo tissue that had been pre-coated with methyl cellulose which was reactivated with damp blotters prior to lining.
- The headband was removed by unlacing it from the board.
- The lining paper beneath the parchment along the spine was repaired using thin tissue and wheat starch paste.
- The parchment turn-ins on the front board were humidified and opened so that half of the split front board could be removed. This was the half of the board along the fore-edge, as the other half could not be removed because it was still laced into the case and adhered to the lining paper.
- The loose board piece was consolidated along the edges with B-72 and then lined with MacGregor paper and gelatin. The paper extended past the split edge of the board and was cut into tabs. The loose piece was then reattached to the other half of the board using the paper tabs and gelatin. The loss in the front board at the head was then filled in with a putty of cellulose powder and gelatin, which was then toned to match using pastels.
- Rebridging the sewing supports was determined to be too invasive, so instead, 2 extra supports of Okasan tissue were applied to the spine with gelatin between the sewing supports at the head and tail. The case was then reattached by adhering these new supports onto the board, and reattaching the lifted parchment tapes with gelatin.
- The lined front paste-down and loose back page were hinged onto the textblock with gelatin.
- The split in the parchment along the joints and the split at the head turn-ins were repaired with colored Kozo tissue applied with gelatin.
- The loss in the parchment at the head was filled using two layers of colored Kozo tissue and gelatin.
- The headband was reattached to the parchment turn-ins using extensions of Kozo tissue and gelatin adhered to the original laces.
- The front paste-down was given a second lining of Kizukishi tissue applied with wheat-starch paste, as the first lining was deemed to be not durable enough when rubbing against the edge of the parchment turn-ins.
- The various tears throughout the textblock were mended with thin Japanese tissue applied with wheat starch paste.