Doctoring a cook book


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Doctoring a cook book

  1. 1. Katherine Rowland Book Repair Project LIBR 104 October 24, 2010
  2. 2. 1943 Lily Wallace New American Cook Book I recently acquired this volume at an antique store. It was very cheap, largely because it was in a bad state of repair. From the front, it doesn’t look too bad: the spine is obviously loose, and the front cover is only partially attached to the book block.
  3. 3. Upon turning the book over, however, the extent of the damage is more serious. The back cover is completely detached from the rest of the book. The spine is attached only partially to the front cover. A few pages of the index are missing, and one page is loose and badly damaged.
  4. 4. As can be seen, even in the front the hinge is split and the end paper has been torn out. The front page is in sad shape, as well.
  5. 5. What needed to be done:  The cover needed to be reattached to the book block  The spine needed to be reattached or reconstructed  The loose page needed to be reattached  Brodart Basic Repair Kit  Household items  Various repair resources online and included in the kit Equipment I had on hand:
  6. 6.  First, I familiarized myself with the Brodart kit and guide. I discovered that the guide did not offer many solutions for my book’s needs.  Next, I visited the website for the University of Illinois Preservation and Conservation website ( ex.html)  According to their procedures, I would need to recase my book and reconstruct the cover, in addition to the smaller necessary repairs.
  7. 7.  I determined that I did not have some of the supplies that the website recommended. However, since the book is not valuable and is for my personal use, I felt that I could make do with what I had on hand. The biggest issue was that I had no tools, such as a bone or spatula.  I gathered the resources I did have and began to follow the step-by-step directions I found on the web site.
  8. 8. •I used scissors and an exacto knife to cut the covers away from the book block •I peeled off the paper and fabric from the book block, removing as much of the glue and material as I could. •I was not able to remove all of the old glue.
  9. 9. I decided that the logical place to start was with the cover reconstruction. I was not, however, able to follow the recommended steps; I did not have the necessary cloth and implements to create a new spine. I decided that I would amend the techniques suggested in the Brodart manual. Accordingly, I first determined that I had an almost-intact cover, with split hinges. I then sanded the edges of the end paper, which would need to be done for the recasing later on.
  10. 10. I knew that the repair tape I had was not wide enough to cover the spine on the outside to the width recommended. I decided to try to mitigate this by reinforcing the hinges on the inside as well as on the outside. Using a technique recommended by a colleague, I brushed the fabric with glue before applying Brodart’s hinge tape. I then burnished the tape using the end of a hair pick as a bone folder.
  11. 11. I repeated these steps on the other side of the cover and spine, using a yardstick to be sure that the boards were kept even during the repair. I did end up having to make an adjustment, removing the tape and retaping. When finished, however, the cover was square and reassembled.
  12. 12. The next step was to use the widest cloth tape I had to reinforce the outside of the spine. I cut off a length that was about an inch longer than the spine of the book. I laid the tape face-up on a flat surface and carefully lowered the book cover onto it. I pressed the spine onto the tape from the top down to prevent air pockets.
  13. 13. I folded the ends of the cloth tape over and again burnished it with the trusty hair pick. When I had firmly affixed the tape, I once again had a sturdy cover to go onto my cook book. I set it aside and turned my attention to the book block.
  14. 14. I wanted to keep the last, loose page. I used the U of I library site as a guide to anchor the edges of the page to a new piece of thin paper. I cut a ½” strip of paper and slid it beneath the remaining fragments of paper that were attached to the rest of the signature. I used tweezers and glue to attach these fragments to the new paper. I lined up the page with this and used the same method to adhere the edge of the page to the new paper.
  15. 15. The loose page was now reattached. I decided to let it dry for a while and turned my attention to creating new end pages, per the U of I library web site.
  16. 16. I didn’t have official end paper to use, so I improvised by using scrapbooking paper, which seemed thick enough to hold the weight of the book. I folded the paper in half and cut it to the dimension of the book. I then applied glue to the front page in a 3/8” strip and pressed the folded edge of the end paper onto it.
  17. 17. I did not have the recommended cambric tape, so I substituted unbleached muslin. I cut a piece as long as the spine and 3 inches wider. I coated the book block edge with glue and reattached the salvaged headbands, to reinforce the spine.
  18. 18. I pulled the muslin down until the glue began to pop through it in beads, as the site I was using had indicated. When it was saturated with glue, I placed a strip of heavy paper on top of it and adhered it firmly. My book was now ready to rest for a few hours and dry.
  19. 19. After about four hours, the glue seemed dry enough to proceed to the next—and most anxious—step. First, I returned the book block to its case to align it exactly where it should be. I then opened the front cover.
  20. 20. As recommended, I placed a large piece of scrap paper between the leaves of the end pages. I coated the top part of the end paper with glue, then flipped the fabric back onto it and coated that with glue.
  21. 21. I removed the scrap paper , placed waxed paper between the halves of the end paper, and carefully closed the top cover. I lifted it quickly to check whether the paper was aligned properly. Seeing that it had, I closed the front cover, turned the book over, and repeated the process with the back endpaper and cover.
  22. 22. The book needed to be weighted in order for the glue to dry without warping. Since I have neither book weights nor a book press, I improvised: the collected volumes of Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes cartoons seemed heavy enough to keep it flat. I was careful to keep the book square and not skew it as I set the weight down.
  23. 23. Before: The book sagged within what was left of its case and was clearly damaged. After: The book sits straight in its case and appears more usable.
  24. 24. Before: The back cover is detached, there is a loose page, and the spine is loose. After: The loose page has been reattached, both covers are reattached, and the spine has been reinforced.
  25. 25. Before: The hinges are split and the spine has come off. . After: The spine has been repaired.
  26. 26. Before: The end paper has been split and torn, and the front page is damaged. After: The end paper has been replaced, the hinges reinforced, and the front page is more secure.
  27. 27. The back page has been reinserted and—while still needing care due to its tattered edges—is firmly anchored and legible.
  28. 28. The new end papers are neatly adhered and the front page is secure once more. The new end papers should protect it and the back page from further damage.
  29. 29. The outside of the book has been modified, but the goal of the project has been achieved: the book has been stabilized and is once again a usable source of information.
  30. 30.  I knew going in that this project would be a challenge. The book had multiple problems that needed to be addressed, and I had very limited tools and supplies. This does, however, compare with library technical staff in many libraries who must make do with what they have in order to serve their patrons and care for their collections.  I would not have attempted this repair on a book which I thought would get heavy usage. While I have experience with minor repairs, I have never carried out repairs as extensive as these before, and I did have to compromise with some of the supplies. Since the book will be used only occasionally as a reference, however, I felt that the repairs I made would be adequate to return the book to a usable condition.
  31. 31.  I was glad to have multiple resources—from preservation web sites to a trusted colleague—to which I could turn for help. With libraries tending to be less fully staffed, it is important to locate resources outside one’s own experience.  The biggest thing I took away from this experience is a much clearer sense of how a book works, physically speaking. While I was familiar with the anatomy of a book, I had never really worked closely with a book’s inner workings before.
  32. 32.  Brodart Guide to Book Care and Repair  University of Illinois Library’s Preservation and Conservation web site:  I primarily referenced the section on rehanging or recasing a book: g1.html