Preservation & conservation - Page 3 of 3 - Binding Obsession

Custom protective enclosures

One of the most important skills for a preservationist is the ability to decide what treatments are appropriate in what situations. We’ve learned a number of repair techniques so far for both paper and books as a whole, and this week we covered protective enclosures—in other words, what to do when direct treatment of an […]

Intermediate book repair: Rebacking and recasing

This week’s class focused on some more advanced book repairs, rebacking and recasing. Each of these repairs involves quite a few steps, so rather than describe them here in the detail I did for the basic book repairs, I’m just going to give an overview of what’s involved with each procedure. (Trust me when I […]

Basic book repairs

This week’s class (with guest professor Steve Smith from Wellesley College) focused on book history and basic repairs to books. I won’t go into the history here, since I hope to write more about that in the fall (I’ll be taking a class called History of the Book, so I’ll have plenty of inspiration), but […]

Learning about paper repair

Friday the 17th was the first session of my Collection Maintenance class, taught by Donia Conn and held at the North Bennet Street School. It was a lot of fun. The format of the class is half lecture/half hands-on learning. This week’s focus, after the introduction, was paper, and after spending the morning learning about how […]

In the news: Preservation

In honor of the second annual Preservation Week, I decided to bump up this thematic “In the news” post, which was originally intended for May. Preservation isn’t something that most people think about regularly, but it probably should be—it’s important that we protect our cultural history, whether the materials take analog or digital form. Here are […]


There’s something special about the scent of books. To true book lovers, it’s instantly recognizable—walk into a used bookstore, and it smells like home. It invigorates. It envelops. It’s so moving that a senior library assistant at MoMA devised a performance art piece called Smelling the Books, in which she will smell and record the […]