Spine covered in three types of pressure sensitive tape
Edwin Pengelly and the damage to the book
The tightback stationary binding had originally been bought from Boots, who at the time described themselves as: book sellers, stationers, picture framers and cash chemists. This is a nice thing to come across as I did not know the company had been around for this long, or had once been such a varied business!
Boots: not just a chemist!
The book was in poor condition when it came into the studio. The leather on the spine had severely deteriorated and the binding was being held together with duct tape, double sided tape and a frosted magic tape (just for good measure!) The front board was detached, and the back board held only by the endpapers. The backs of the sections were very damaged with many single pages that had become detached. Some of the inserts were not adhered to the textblock, and some were missing. There was also minor tearing through out.
'S.S."Bristol City" leaving Bristol on her last voyage'
A sad entry of SS Bristol City which was wrecked in 1943 by a German submarine, losing 15 crew members
First of all the pages were collated and a photograph was taken of each page with additional material adhered to it or loose, to maintain the order and position of everything throughout the conservation treatment. During the tape removal it became apparent that there was only small and thin remnants of leather remaining on the spine, and so it was decided to remove it and replace it with an entirely new and structurally sound skin.
A funny episode detailing terribly involved methods of catching rats that scamper across your bed at night
Secol archival quality dry mounting to readhere some inserts
The textblock was then resewn on tapes using the original holes, and the spine was gently rounded by hand and lined with Japanese paper. The pastedowns were lifted and the tapes adhered beneath to reattach the boards. Aerocotton spine extensions were also inserted into split boards. Additional spine linings of hahnemuhle were added and sanded down to create a smooth surface for the reback.
This was a great project, and the book is now stable, strong and ready to be used, having lost none of its original charm. The real challenge was not getting too distracted by the interesting content!