The aim of the project was to stabilise the volumes, allowing them to be handled and read, while keeping the 16th Century features in tact. As the two volumes, and their treatment, were very similar I shall write about them together.
As the reback was of poor quality and of a later date, this leather was removed from the spine and the detached boards, after carefully photographing the tooling to recreate later. The remaining leather was then consolidated using Cellugel.
The boards were reattached using the aerocotton extensions with EVA, and the frayed out cord extensions. This provided a strong attachment and a nice movement of the board.
The book straps had pin catch fastenings, and consisted of a strip of parchment, which had been recovered in leather at a later date. The leather had deteriorated, and several had broken in half. The straps were held to the board with tacks (not original) through a metal anchor plate. Using a spatula as a lever, it was possible to ease these and the tacks from the boards, and then work to free the straps from beneath the leather cover. The remaining old leather was scraped off, and a strip of parchment was cut to the same size as the original, beveled at one end in order to slip beneath the clasp. This was then sanded lightly on one side to aid the adhesion with EVA. These were then pressed and left to dry overnight. Toned archival calf leather was then pared thinly and readhered to the straps with WSP, butting up the leather with the edge of the clasp as it was too thick to go beneath the metal fastening. These were again left to dry. Then the clasps were carefully positioned and reattached using new brass tacks hammered through the boards. The tips of the tacks came through the boards, and the tips were knocked over to secure the tacks in place. The pastedowns were then put down above the tack tips.
Lizzie added blind tooling to the spines, and the bindings were complete. The books were both to be displayed in the library and so bookshoes were made to provide protection and support the heavy textblocks.