Quick Fix Preservation Re-back for a Deteriorated Leather Book
In these 5 lessons you will see how to create a preservation re-back for a deteriorated leather book. Note that I am not doing full restoration or even full repair. Quick Fixes by their nature assume minimalism. This one focuses on fast yet archival repairs that will make the book function again without destroying original materials. Suggested prerequisite course: 4-101 Care and Repair Guidelines for Leather Books
- Type of Book: Full Calf-skin, Tight back, Tight Joint,
- This Particular Book: Boswell’s Johnson from the early 1800s
- Issue: Deteriorating Leather, Spine in pieces.
- Treatment: Preservation Re-back. 5 Lessons (See below)
- 1 Hour of Videos
- PERPETUAL CAVEAT: Never repair rare and/or scarce books. When in doubt only do preservation treatments and consult an accredited professional.
- Make written note of the placement of spine
- Klucel the leather
- Remove the Case-spine
- Scrape loose material off Text-spine (make sure the edges are clean)
- Repair end-band
- Line spine with Japanese tissue with 1/4 inch extending on both sides.
- Make sure text-block is straight and square
- Make sure the first few pages of front and rear are fully attached.
- Creating photocopies for or otherwise replace missing end-sheet
- Attach end-sheets or hinges
- Touch up corners of new pages
- Clean up edges of flyleaf and create new inner hinges.
- Attach the boards (Check alignment!)
- Make an overlapping hollow
- Clean back of Original Case-spine pieces
- Attach all pieces of case spine to colored Japanese tissue and trim
- Attach another matching colored Japanese tissue to Text-spine
- Attach Original spine that has been lined to the New spine.
- Not mentioned but a good idea would be to use SC6000 on the leather spine to seal it and make it look shiny. (since it has already been Klucelled.) Test first though because books that are this deteriorated could turn black with any moisture.
Optional: Protect the book with an archival .005 mil polyester film cover.