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Would you like to know what can be done to put the damaged books in your collections back into circulation? How about a quick lesson in the chemistry and physics of materials to give you the confidence you need to assess the condition of a book and then perform the appropriate repairs? Come and review your basic skills and learn new techniques to supplement your book repair repertoire.

Workshop Description: This one-day, intermediate workshop builds on and extends the fundamentals acquired at the basic book repair workshop, which covered general maintenance, damage assessment and easy repairs to spines, hinges and torn or unattached leaves. In the intermediate workshop, we will review the basics of working with paper and binding structures, then tackle more structurally challenging repairs, such as repairs to flat-back bindings. The intermediate workshop will introduce new skills such as sewing, humidification, and flattening, and the preparation and use of Japanese paste. All hands-on steps will be clearly demonstrated and practiced by workshop participants. There will also be opportunities to share stories and troubleshoot questions about your own collections.

In addition, you will receive handouts explaining the various repairs, copies of relevant articles, a list of suppliers, and a bibliography of useful books, other printed materials, and related web links.

Note: This course addresses only repairs and maintenance of general circulating collections and is not meant for preservation of special or specialized materials.

Pre-workshop assignment: Each participant should bring two cloth case bound books - 6" x 9", one with a flat-back spine binding - to the class to practice on.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Paper and Hinges
    • Review paper repair and paper grain
    • Practice hinge repair with Japanese paper and paste
    • Practice foldout attachment with Tyvek hinge
  • Humidification and Flattening
    • Discussion of various medias and materials
    • Practice testing inks
    • Practice humidifying and flattening
  • Repairing Bindings
    • Discussion of various conditions of deterioration
    • Practice reattaching flat back spines with cloth and paper hollows
  • Sewing and Collection Maintenance
    • Discussion of sewing versus tipping-on of endsheets
    • Practice sewing a pamphlet into a pamphlet binder
    • Discussion of worst condition and possibilities of repair
    • Demonstration of how to consolidate leather
    • Practice removing pressure sensitive tape, barcodes

Workshop Instructor: Gillian Boal