Materials & Techniques

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INTRODUCTION

The techniques described in this appendix were the subject of a series of workshops taught by the authors under the auspices of Lower Hudson Conference. The project was funded by the New York State Library's Discretionary Grant program. The sessions took place in the fall of 2000 and demonstrated steps for rehabilitating materials that had previously been stabilized after a disaster involving water.

We based our teaching on professionally accepted paper and book conservation methods. Some of the techniques are traditional bookbinding steps, modified for use in a mending facility with limited equipment. But we did not teach bookbinding as such because learning to put a book together from scratch takes months or years. Similarly, the flat paper repair section was limited to the simpler mending steps which are most frequently needed in an archive or library. Lining, deacidification, fills, in-painting, etc., are better left to skilled professionals with adequately equipped studios.

These instructions are intended for research and archival materials without great artifactual value. The goal is to get the books or documents back on the shelf so the information can be accessed. If there is a question about the artistic, historic, or monetary value of an item, it should just be stabilized and removed from use. Although the instructions are sound, they are no substitute for the experience required to restore a rare item. A conservator should be consulted to determine a course of action. Do not treat the object in-house.

Nelly Balloffet & Jenny Hille. May, 2001

 

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LOWER HUDSON CONFERENCE