Restoration

The Currier Bindery specializes in the restoration of antiquarian books. Our restoration methods are designed to preserve as much of the original book as possible and practical, using minimally invasive rebinding techniques. Even the most hopeless looking book can usually be restored. Our goals for book restoration include:

  • Make the book ‘useable’ – able to be handled and read!
  • Retain as much of the original cover as possible
  • Use historically appropriate rebinding methods and materials
  • Ensure the book’s longevity with the use of archival materials
  • Recognize those books whose value would be increased by restoration work, and those that should not be touched (see our page on decisions regarding restoration)

Before and after.

    When we restore a book we may:

  • Resew or reglue loose pages or ‘signatures’
  • Mend torn pages
  • Repair broken hinges and joints
  • Recase the book (reattach the text block to the cover)
  • Reback the book (create a new spine to replace one broken beyond repair, keeping the original front and back cover…and, if possible, gluing the original spine over the newly created one to retain the look of the original book)
  • If the original cover is entirely unusable (or absent), create a new binding in paper, cloth, or leather
  • Color paper or scan images to match the original endpapers or hinges
  • Install marbled, silk, or handmade endpapers
  • Dye the cover to touch up lost color
  • Rebuild or recover the corners of the cover
  • Oil the book
  • Create a slipcase or clamshell to protect the book (see, Boxes and Slipcases)

 

This hopeless looking book is a candidate for restoration. The corners and spine and joint can all be repaired.


Pages can be re-sewn and hinges can be repaired.

 

Spine and broken outer hinge (the cover has broken away from the spine) can be repaired.

Spine and broken outer hinge (the cover has broken away from the spine) can be repaired.