Conservation of re-used bindings

Book conservation involves a tough decision making regarding usability and long term preservation handling.
Sometimes we are dealing with fragmentology, or disjecta membra (fragments of written supports are re-used as part of a binding, with a diverse purpose from the first use) whereas in other cases the purpose is the same, and the whole binding is being recycled to bind a different book.
Incunabula and manuscripts with laced-case and limp vellum bindings are studied. Continue reading

Conservation of a manuscript with one binding inside the other

Not uncommon to find waste material as part of a binding (parchment manuscripts, for instance), but quite much rare when the previous and original binding is part of the boards layers of the current recycled binding!
The outer and visible binding belonged first to a former book, and the hidden binding, to the current, one… crazy! Continue reading

Limp vellum binding conservation

Owner: Private collection. Artefact: Semi limp vellum binding (semi because the cardboards inside the covers provide it a certain body, even if they are not pasted onto the parchment). 17th-18th century. Printed book. Damages: Parchment loss on the spine, locks … Continue reading

Stationery limp vellum binding with flap

Limp vellum binding with flap. 18th century. Manuscript with cook recipes.
Damages: Parchment loss on the spine and front cover. Broken lock and borken spine reinforcing made of leather which hold the sewing. the locks were lost too. The parchment had been soaked in oil in former interventions to “protect” it. Continue reading