Book Repairs and Restorations

damaged book
Samples of Completed Projects
 
Repairs to damaged books, to give them a new life. Use the contact information, at the bottom of this page, to discuss your repair and book binding projects.
 
Details, and photos, of selected past projects shown below. First column shows item before repairs, second column shows item after repairs completed. Click on thumb-nail images to view detail. Detail photos are large files, may take some time to download.
 
1720 John Locke - Repair
 
Description:
1720 Collection of essays by John Locke.
 
Condition as received:
Both covers were missing and the back-strip (spine) was in very poor condition, missing one illustration.
 
Repairs performed:
I removed the old back-strip, re-cased the book in a half-leather binding (goat leather) and cloth, foil on black book-calf leather labels, replaced the missing illustration with a reproduction, and built a custom slip-case to protect the book. Slip-case covering is Lokta* paper.
1944 Cookbook - Repair
 
Description:
The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, by Fannie Merritt Farmer. A 1944 edition of this famous cookbook.
 
Condition as received:
Both covers detached, back-strip (spine) missing, book held together with library repair tape, some loose pages, covers heavily soiled.
 
Repairs performed:
Re-cased the book using all new book-binder board and cloth, re-created the original cloth design, new end-papers copied from originals, re-attached loose pages, removed the original cloth covers and bound those in for historical preservation after removing as much of the tape residue as possible, built a slip-case to hold the book.
Detached Cover - Repairs
 
Description:
Two examples of re-attaching front cover on leather bindings.
 
Condition as received:
Front cover detached, no other issues.
 
Repairs performed:
Re-attached front board using Japanese papers dyed to match leather, and almost invisible Japanese paper applied to inner hinge, preserving the end-paper. This is the most sophisticated repair method for re-attaching covers, least impact on original features.
Eradicating Smallpox In Ethiopia - Rebind softcover as hardcover.
 
Description:
Rebind softcover book as hardcover. 'Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia: Peace Corps Volunteers’ Accounts of Their Adventures, Challenges and Achievements Editors: Gene L. Bartley (Ethiopia 1970-72, 1974-76), John Scott Porterfield (Ethiopia 1971-73), Alan Schnur (Ethiopia 1971-73), James W. Skelton, Jr. (Ethiopia 1970-72) Peace Corps Writers. ISBN-13: 978-1950444045 ISBN-10: 195044404X
 
Original back-strip (spine) sliced from soft-cover book. Original covers, and some personal items included with text-block. Text block sawn and cords glued in, mull glued to spine. Book cased, black goat leather cover with gold foil back-strip label.
 
A clamshell box built for this book.
 
A review of the book.
Leather Joints - Repair
 
Description:
1766 book, late 19th century re-bind.
 
Condition as received:
Covers detached, original back-strip present, owner wished to preserve marbled end-papers.
 
Repairs performed:
Re-attached boards using Japanese papers dyed to match leather and one color in the end-papers. This is the most sophisticated repair method for re-attaching covers, least impact on original features.
Psalm Boken and Evangelier och Epistlar - Repair
 
Description:
Small book, 4-1/8 x 2-3/4 x 1-3/8 inches (104 x 70 x 32 mm). Two books in one binding, 1) Psalm Boken (1819), 2) Evangelier och Epistlar (1860). Dated signature of previous owner 186? (last digit missing).
 
Condition as received:
Original case completely separated from text block, back-strip deteriorated. Text block is in good condition, although several pages creased. At some point, a young hand added markings using pencil and orange crayon.
 
Repairs performed:
I was able to remove all the pencil markings (several pages), I didn't attempt to remove the crayon (only on one page). Several pages had corner folds and I straightened those.
 
Rebound as 1/4-leather, black book-cloth, foil titles on black card-stock attached to back strip.
 
If it hadn't been for current owner wanting to keep the signature of the ancestor, I would have just used the old boards to create the new binding -- but, the new end-papers would have covered the signature. Instead, I attached the old boards to the new binding. The old rear board is completely attached, the old front board is hinged so that the signature can be viewed.
 
I used a thinner binder board than usual, for the new boards, due to attaching the old boards.
Contes de Grimm - Repair
 
Description:
Recueil De Contes De Grimm (Collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales) by Kathleen Fitzgerald, Illustrated by Gilbert James. Siegle, Hill - London, no date [1910?]
 
Condition as received:
Covers detached, gathers separated, back-strip completely missing.
 
Repairs performed:
Gathers re-sewn, new mull, new end-papers from legacy papers, new back-strip of black leather.
Paroissien Romain - Repair
 
Description:
Nouveau Paroissien Romain. Printed 1929, Brussels Belgium.
 
Condition as received:
Internal hinges separated, soiled end-papers, leather back-strip split, bookmark ribbon frayed.
 
Repairs performed:
New mull, new end-papers*, new leather back-strip, new leather title block, new headbands, new ribbon bookmark.
 
*By scanning a small, clean, portion of the original end-papers, I was able to reproduce the unique end-papers.
Good Medicine - Repair
 
Description:
Good Medicine by Charles M. Russell. Published 1930 by Garden City Publishing, Garden City, New York.
 
Condition as received:
Covers completely separated from text block, yet end-papers intact; tipped in illustration separated, sewing rotted, water damage to covers.
 
Repairs performed:
Re-sewed gathers, new mull, reattached covers and end-papers, new leather back-strip, with faux bands, wide enough to cover water damage, re-glued tipped in illustration, new leather label on back-strip.
Scout Ranger - Repair
 
Description:
Scout and Ranger: Being the Personal Adventures of Corporal Pike by [James] Pike. Published 1865 by J.R. Hawley & Co., Cincinnati & New York.
 
Condition as received:
Front cover completed separated, rear cover nearly separated, several loose leaves, one gather (sometimes, mistakenly, called 'signatures') separated from cords, back-strip panel completely separated.
 
Repairs performed:
Reattached loose leaves, re-sewed loose gather, installed new mull, faux headbands, new end-papers (from antique papers). Reattached old boards with new back-strips of complementary cloth, attached old back-strip.
 
The new back-strip was kept as narrow as possible so as not to cover much of the very nice blind-stamping on the covers. For this same reason, the owner declined to have the corners covered with new cloth.
James Expedition - Repair
 
Description:
An Expedition From Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains Performed in the Years 1819 and '20 ... compiled by Edwin James. Two-volume set Published 1823 by H.C. Carey and I. Lea, Philadelphia.
 
Condition as received:
Front and rear covers completed separated on both volumes, loose leaves, some minor rips to some pages, leather in poor condition.
 
Repairs performed:
Reattached loose leaves, repaired rips, installed new mull, new end-papers (from contemporary papers). Reattached old boards with new back-strips of goat leather with faux bands, custom labels, applied leather treatment.
The Ke Whonkus People - Repair
 
Description:
The Ke Whonkus People: A Story of the North Pole Country by John O. Greene. Published 1893 by Vincent Publishing Company, Indianapolis Indiana.
 
Condition as received:
Rear hinge completely separated, front hinge almost separated, binding was 'loose'.
 
Repairs performed:
Re-glued loose leaves, installed new mull, new end-papers (from contemporary paper). Owner wished to retain inscription on the old front paste-down. It was not possible to remove the inscription without damage so a window was cut in the new front paste-down to show the inscription.
Grandma's Cookbook - Repair
 
Description:
The Modern Family Cookbook (New Revised Edition) by Meta Given. Published 1961 by J.G. Ferguson Publishing Company, Chicago.
 
Condition as received:
Covers completely separated from book, duct tape holding portions of book together, title/copyright page separated from first gathering, last sheet separated from last gathering, endpapers split at hinges.
 
Repairs performed:
A complete re-casing of the book - new boards and endpapers, grey cloth over new boards. Reattached title page and index page, new headbands, facsimile images of old cover and spine attached to new cloth.
The Mambi Land - Repair
 
Description:
The Mambi Land or Adventures of a Herald Correspondent In Cuba by James J. O'Kelly. Published 1874 by J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.
 
Condition as received:
Text block is fairly solid, but was badly cocked (tilted), hinges and joints separating, corners bumped, library repair tape.
 
Repairs performed:
I saved the old front and rear panels, and portions of the spine panel (back-strip); re-squared the text block, completely re-cased the book - all new boards, end-papers. Re-used major portions of the front, rear, and spine panels as could be rescued, attaching them to the new covers, removed the majority of the library tape residue. I was also able to rescue the old book-plate, re-attached inside the front cover (not pictured).
Leaves of Grass - Repair
 
Description:
A two-volume set of 'Leaves of Grass' by Walt Whitman, photos by Edward Weston, published 1942 by Limited Editions Club.
 
Condition as received:
Interiors of the books are solid, the hinges are tight; but the external joints were almost completely separated and the corners were badly bumped.
 
Repairs performed:
I rescued the old spine panels, installed a new spine of heavy fabric, and also covered the corners - so, now half green cloth - and attached the old spine panels to the new cloth.

 
 
 
 
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