What is a full treatment exactly, in book preservation terms? A full treatment entails the dis-binding, washing, drying, re-sewing and re-casing of a book. In the case of Exploration Scientifique de L’Algérie, the book came to us from the Cullman Rare Book Library because it had previously been damaged by water and mold. In order to clean, flatten and remove the mold from the book, we needed to take it apart section by section, page by page.
A constant challenge in the Book Conservation Lab is housing items of disparate sizes together. Recently we faced this issue in re-housing the pamphlet “Instructions in Reference to Collecting Nests and Eggs of North American Birds.” The pamphlet came to us in pieces in an envelope bearing the name of former Secretary of the Smithsonian, Alexander Wetmore. Continue reading
A treatment we commonly perform in the Conservation Lab is re-backing. A weak point in many case bound books is the gutter. When it fails the spine typically deteriorates and falls off the back of the book. A re-backing replaces the original spine and enables the book to be used again without sustaining further damage. Continue reading
The Conservation Lab was excited to receive another Adopt-a-Book recently. The volume was Ostéographie ou description iconographique comparée du squelette et du système dentaire des mammifères récents et fossiles(1839–64) by the French Anatomist and Biologist, Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville. Continue reading