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Book Repair and Restoration   By:

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BOOK REPAIR AND RESTORATION

Only a thousand copies of this book are printed and type distributed.

[Illustration: INLAID LEVANT BINDING]

BOOK REPAIR AND RESTORATION

A MANUAL OF PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR BIBLIOPHILES

Including some Translated Selections from Essai sur l'art de Restaurer les Estampes et les Livres, par A. Bonnardot, Paris 1858

By MITCHELL S. BUCK

Author of "Syrinx," "Ephemera," "The Songs of Phryne," Translator of "Lucian's Dialogues of the Hetaerai," etc.

Philadelphia NICHOLAS L. BROWN MCMXVIII

COPYRIGHT, 1918 BY NICHOLAS L. BROWN

Printed July 1918

FOREWORD

The following chapters contain suggestions partly gathered from the experience of others and partly evolved for myself in caring for my own books. Although many "books about books" have already been written, there is still, I think, a place for this one. I have designed it especially for the bibliophile who enjoys "fussing" over his books and who receives, in seeing them in good condition and repair through his own efforts, an echo of the pleasure he receives from reading them.

In translating from Bonnardot, I have taken the liberty of abridging or paraphrasing, at times, the chapters which I have included here, not only to confine the subjects a little more closely but also to present his essential suggestions as concisely as possible. His book, copies of which are very scarce, was first issued in an edition of four hundred copies in 1846 and re issued, with revisions, in 1858. It has not since been reprinted nor, so far as I have been able to learn, has it been translated into English, either wholly or in part.

CONTENTS

FOREWORD: Page 7

Chapter I GENERAL RESTORATION: Page 15

Chapter II REMOVING STAINS: Page 25

Chapter III REBACKING: Page 39

Chapter IV REPAIRING OLD BINDING: Page 51

Chapter V REBINDING: Page 77

Chapter VI THE BOOK SHELVES: Page 89

Chapter VII BOOK BUYING: Page 99

Chapter VIII THE GREEK AND LATIN CLASSICS: Page 111

INDEX: Page 123

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

INLAID LEVANT BINDING: Frontispiece

RE LINING BACK: Page 21

VELLUM BINDINGS: Page 25

ORIGINAL SHEEP BINDING (1684) REBACKED: Page 39

CUTTING FOR REBACKING: Page 41

CUTTING FOR REBACKING: Page 42

LOOSENING LEATHER FOR REBACKING: Page 43

SETTING NEW BACK: Page 44

BINDING HEAD CAP: Page 45

FOLDER: Page 47

IRON: Page 48

MODERN LEVANT BINDING: Page 51

SOLANDER SLIP CASE: Page 77

LEATHER SLIP COVERS: Page 89

SLIP COVER: Page 92

KELMSCOTT PRESS BOOK: Page 99

BLACK LETTER VIRGIL: Page 111

CHAPTER I

GENERAL RESTORATION

To consider first a few simple processes of ordinary restoration, let us assume that a rare book in its original cloth or boards, in a more or less damaged condition but not to the point of necessitating rebinding, has just been received.

The first operation required is to carefully clean off the binding with a soft cloth, wipe off the end papers, which often have a coating of dust, especially when the covers do not fit closely, and, if the top is gilt, wipe that carefully also. An "uncut" top is freed from dust by brushing with a soft brush.

The book is then collated to make sure that every page is in place and, if there are plates, that no plate is missing. This operation, it is perhaps needless to say, should by all means be done before purchasing, unless the book comes from a reliable dealer to whom an imperfect copy could be returned. If, in collating an old book, the amateur discovers that page 173 follows immediately after page 136, he need not necessarily be alarmed, as mistakes in pagination and even in the numbering of signatures are very common in books printed a century or more ago. In such cases, the "catch words" which generally appear at the bottom of the pages, or else the text itself, should be examined to see whether the page, without regard for its number, is really in its proper place or not... Continue reading book >>




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