First Aid for Books!

Many of our books here at The Portico Library are very old and well loved, so are often not in the best condition. Luckily we have had Tim Higson, who has a wealth of experience in book conservation, volunteering here at The Portico. He has been taking care of some of our books that are in need of repair, such as The Republic of Letters by Alexander Whitelaw. As the pictures show, these books were in poor condition and needed several minor repairs, which were carried out by Tim.

The leather on the books was very fragile and peeling away.

The leather on the books was very fragile and peeling away.

This picture shows the damage to the spine of one of the books.

This picture shows the damage to the spine of one of the books.

First each book had a surface clean to remove any dirt and dust. Other work carried out included stabilising the leather on the books using a leather consolidant and doing some marbled paper repairs using wheat starch paste. Small weights were used to help weigh down the leather and marbled paper while the adhesive dried and one book even needed a bandage to help with its recovery!

Small weights on one of the repaired books.

Small weights on one of the repaired books.

A member of staff assisting Tim with his repairs

A member of staff assisting Tim with his repairs

The bandaged book.

The bandaged book.

The pictures below show the condition of the books after the repairs. As you can see they look much better and are now sitting on the shelf, waiting to be read!

The repaired books.

The repaired books.

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