Hello everybody! I am Rita Udina, paper and book conservator
from Barcelona. This is the lecture held on September 17th,
at the International Conference on the Preservation of Written Heritage. I want to thank them first for giving me this opportunitiy to participate in it. I love book conservation. Materials and decoration might have changed but the essential remains: a binding, a structure
that collects, as well as enables to flip the folios. There is a large variety of structures, but
keeping in mind this essentiality, simplifies conservation a lot. It is all about pasting and sewing, and –according
to my experience- UNIONS that require movement endure more when sewn, whereas those static
ones are stronger when pasted. Here’s an example At the right, the textblock: which is linked into the cover through a sewing, through leather thongs, that are knotted in the cover. We can open and close the cover as many times as we want: It is a most flexible and enduring structure. At the left, the pastedown, which is pasted down onto the cover through adhesive. But the pastedown just lays there, remains static on the cover I will explain 2 different structures, and several solutions for them. Let me first make and aside. related to pastedowns. It will make sense a few slides further. I have noticed that in really old books, pretty often endpapers have opposite grain direction. This involves a nightmare of wrinkles all over. Which could be the reason for skilled bookbinders doing that? I do not think so! A possible reason for them to assume this “imperfection” could be that tears along the joint are less likely to take place, when in opposite grain direction. 😉 An end-leaf with vertical grain direction, doesn’t prevent the tear to expand along the joint. Therefore the pastedown becomes not only a covering material, but a support providing significant structural attachment (because of the grain directon). Let’s keep that in mind and focus on the book structures. First one is stitched within a drawn-on cover The textblock is stitched,
and gathers in one row all the signatures And the wrapper is attached through adhesion on the spine Since there is some movement in the spine there are usually are losses creases A common solution to solve spine damage, is to detach de wrapper, consolidate it, and place it back inserting a hollow between the textblock and the wrapper. Hre’s the hollow Since the text-block is STITCHED, not SEWN, there should be scarce movement along the joint being therefore the adhesion wrapper–hollow–textblock good enough as a solution, despite the scarce movement.