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Re: [BKARTS] binding repair workshops

Hi Doug
   It's a laudable thing, on your part, to seek some assistance here instead
of just reading some repair manuals (of which there are several) and diving
in on your own.   You can check out the links on Peter Verheyen's web page
to find something, or contact a local university/college/public library
preservation office for some leads.  The major problem which tends to arise
from just reading manuals, or taking a quickie, is (in my opinion) that a
small stock of 'repairs' then tends to get blindly applied.  The old adage
'If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail' is sadly true.
The knitting needle and glue hinge tightening repair is a good
illustration.   I have seen this recommended in many places without the
slightest warning attached that this is often the symptom of structural
problems which will not be ammended in the slightest by just tightening the
hinge.   Usually the problem is that the book is heavy and the spine has
been too inadequately lined to support the weight.  The endsheets then pull
loose at the inner hinge as the text block settles downward.  The sagging of
the block actually 'repairs' the book by allowing the tail to rest directly
on the shelf for support.  Just tightening the hinge usually results in the
book ripping itself out of the pastedowns, and/or --worse yet--broken
sewing,  and you have it to right back on the repair shelf.  Any good
workshop you attend should include a discussion of  how to determine when
routine minor repair should be undertaken and when it is just not going to
   Thanks for undertaking this responsibly!
 Dorothy Africa

dsanders@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> With announcements of bookmaking workshops popping up on the list, I
> have a question of my own.  I have been a professional paper conservator
> for a number of years now, but a new place of employment has brought
> with it the demand for minor repair work on books and other bound
> formats in our collection.
> Since I was not trained specifically in binding, my skills to date in
> this field entail work on pamphlets, and some other simpler sewn
> structures and simple case bindings.  Can anyone recommend a course, or
> week intensive, at the 'intermediate level' where I can gain knowledge
> of what I would call 'library repair' methods (hinge tightening,
> reattachment of covers, 19th and 20th century binding trends and
> formats, etc).
> Before someone jumps on me- the idea here is not to become an
> 'overnight' bookbinder- our fine bindings and important editions will
> still be sent out of house to more skilled hands.  This is just to take
> care of the everyday chores.
> Thanks,
> Doug Sanders

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