Tag: book conservation

Pop-up book vampire dentistry

Pop-up book vampire dentistry

Sometimes being a book conservator means you have to do a little dental work on Dracula’s fangs.  This is a pop-up book that’s going into an upcoming exhibit in our library – unfortunately, one side of Dracula’s teeth had become detached and pushed back into […]

Library Book + Dog + Tape = Bad Idea

This was a book that was damaged by a dog, and “fixed” with packing tape by a patron. And this is also why the staff at the library will often stress that patrons should not attempt their own repairs of library books. The “repair” often does […]

Post ID: 5661


Don’t try this at home! It may be counter-intuitive, but sometimes to fix a water damaged item you need to soak it in water.
Due to the extensive tide marks from previous water damage, our book conservators decided to wash these plates from Exposition Universelle De 1889 in de-ionized water to remove impurities and tone down the tide marks.
You can see the marks in the lower left and right corner of the plate. By re-immersing the plates, the acid build up in the paper can be reduced and the tide marks washed mostly away. The plates have since been safely dried and rehoused.

I’m always thrilled when people walk in the lab and see me working on something in the washing sink…”You can wash paper?!” is their usual response of amazement.

Sometimes conservators will wash an ENTIRE book too, either separately or in pieces. Here’s a post on the fabulous Flash of the Hand blog about washing a book intact. 

But yup, you totally can wash paper, but it requires a lot of knowledge and training to do it safely and right, so don’t try this at home (or with your library books!).

My favourite tool: Isabelle Egan

My favourite tool: Isabelle Egan My favourite tool: Isabelle Egan This tool is my ‘extra finger’. I am sure many conservators have a similar tool as their BF, and there are various models around. I sharpened the edges of this Tira…

Post ID: 5912

Really well-done video that shows the conservation and rebinding of the Constitution of the State of Iowa. The conservation treatment starts at about the 3 minute mark. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/)

Rusty Rusalka – Collection Care blog

Rusty Rusalka – Collection Care blog

Post ID: 6045

Dissecting books this morning with conservator Robert Hauser. (Brown Univ.) (Source: https://vine.co/)

Post ID: 6603

Tools I use in conservation. (Source: https://vine.co/)

Book Repair Boot Camp

Book Repair Boot Camp

Post ID: 6713

Our order of custom-cut boxes from Talas arrived, and I spent the morning assembling them and figuring out which book fit into each box! The boxes arrived flat, so I had to fold them into shape first before they could be filled with a book. […]