Special Collections & Archives Blog

During January 2008...

Basic Book Repair Workshops at ECU

Thursday, January 31, 2008 9:23 am

NCPC Basic Book Repair Workshop, ECU Jan 24-25, 2008

Laupus Medical Sciences Library

For two days, my colleague, Rachel Hoff and I, discussed and taught preservation concepts and treatments. It was two day-long Basic Book Repair Workshops sponsored by NCPC. Rachel and I have been teaching these workshops for several years both together and individually as our schedule permits. To prepare for this task, in 2004, we both received a 2-day training course at the Etherington Conservation Center in Greensboro.

We discussed the library environment-cleaning, mold, dust, pest management, etc. and also covered the key preservation issues of “Do No Harm”, reversibility, and appropriate adhesives. Because this was a basic workshop, we also covered tools and assembling a tool kit, reference books (we gave them a bibliography) and web sites for preservation, and suppliers (they received a list). Each participant also received a glossary of preservation terminology, a diagram of the parts of a book, and step by step instructions on spine replacement, tearing Japanese paper and the use of heat-set tissue. We also briefly discussed disaster recovery and treatment solutions.

After the hour long discussion, the rubber hit the road. Rachel demonstrated various methods of tipping in loose pages and hinge tightening methods. Following this, I demonstrated the spine replacement my own students do. We completed making a new spine piece for each book and following a nice lunch overlooking the Medical Sciences campus, we glued the new spine piece into each book. We also demonstrated using heat-set tissue to repair paper tears and tearing Japanese paper for hinge reinforcement.

These workshops are gratifying because many individuals are not able to get this training and are very appreciative of our workshops.

Adjusting a Board Shear

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 11:14 am

In Preservation, I cut heavy archival board with a large cast iron machine called a board shear. Mine was made by the Jacques Manufacturing Co, in Worchester, Massachusetts probably in the 1930′s and was originally used for box making. Book binders everywhere have bought these old machines to use in their work since nothing else can acccurately cut heavy board.

My board shear had the blade and plate sharpened this summer by a knife company in Virginia. This involved shipping 2 four foot long metal blades via UPS on a wood support.

As time has gone by this year, the blade began to rub against the plate on the deck. I contacted the company I purchased the board shear from -American Graphic Arts, Inc. for help. They advised me how to make an adjustment, which involved loosening a large lock nut, which allowed a second bolt to be loosened or tightened. This done, my student assistant, Trey Godwin, and I played with the adjustment until we had the right amount of rub of the blade, and the best and cleanest cut. When the adjustment was made, we tightened the lock nut, and now all our cuts are ‘sweeet’.


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