This post was written by Vanessa Haight Smith, Head of Preservation Services. Japanese paper is used for many applications in book and paper conservation and I often choose this material when reattaching weak or detached boards. The practice of toning Japanese paper hinges for reattaching boards to leather bindings, promoted by conservator Don Etherington, is widely used in the field.
April 21-27 is Preservation Week! In honor of this event, we will be featuring preservation-related content on the Smithsonian Libraries’ blog as well as our other social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Today, we offer you a peek inside our own Book Conservation Lab! The Preservation Services Division of the Smithsonian Libraries is committed to the preservation, safe exhibition, and long-term access to collections objects, many of which are irreplaceable. The primary mission of the Book Conservation Lab (BCL) is to treat special and general collections items needed for research, exhibition or digitization.
Paper repair is an elusively simple repair. Using wheat starch paste and Japanese paper we repair tears in paper in a manner that is flexible and reversible. The trick to a good paper repair is select the proper color and weigh of repair tissue.
I am currently a conservation graduate student at the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris and I have been accepted in the Book Conservation Lab in the Preservation Department at the Libraries (SIL) to complete part of my 4th year internship requirement.
Support the Libraries