Curation and Preservation Services at the MIT Libraries
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CONSERVATION AND REPAIR

Collections Conservation | Rare Book Conservation |
Conservation Treatment Portfolio | Audio-visual and media collections

Conservation Treatment Portfolio

Conservation treatment combines traditional bookbinding and craft techniques with an understanding of chemistry and materials science. Some conservation work involves the use of equipment and tools that have been specially adapted or designed for conservation applications. The treatments represented in this portfolio illustrate different levels of intervention and a variety of treatment techniques.


Manual of Inorganic Chemistry, Eliot and Storer
Rare Books - Legacy Collection, Institute Archives and Special Collections

The spine on this 19th century publisher’s cloth binding was torn in half and almost completely detached. A new spine piece was constructed from airplane linen, which was toned to match the color of the original spine cloth. The original spine piece was repaired and adhered to the new spine piece. This treatment technique is called a rebacking.

Before treatment

After treatment


French Scenery
Rare Books - Legacy Collection, Institute Archives and Special Collections

The boards of this full leather binding were reattached with Japanese paper hinges, which were colored with to match the original leather.

Before treatment

After treatment


Canticle of Freedom, A Copland
Lewis Music Library Limited Access Collection

In the past, this music score was repaired with pressure sensitive tape along several edges of the first leaf. The tape was removed by softening the adhesive with a solvent. Once the film carrier and adhesive residue was removed, the edges were mended with Japanese paper, which was toned to match the original sheet.

Before treatment

During treatment- Solvent chamber

After treatment


Boston Common
ROTCH Limited Access Collection

This paper-covered 19th century binding with a torn spine was rebacked.

Before treatment

After treatment


Notes on Franklin Park, maps
ROTCH Limited Access Collection

This very large map of the design for Franklin Park was broken into many pieces. The sections were reattached and the numerous tears were mended using very thin Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste. Because of the condition of the paper and the level of anticipated use for this item, the map was also sealed between two sheets of a stable polyester film. This process is called encapsulation.

Before treatment

After treatment


MC-488, Caminos Papers
Institute Archives and Special Collections

This group of architectural plans, photos, and drawings were very tightly rolled and packed into acidic containers. In order to provide better storage and access, each set of plans was removed from the old tube, more loosely rolled over a wide diameter support core, and placed in an acid-free tube. Some of the materials, such as photographic prints and materials mounted on cardstock, were damaged by being tightly rolled. These items were humidified and flattened and placed in custom boxes so that they could be stored flat. This treatment is an example of stabilization and preventative conservation.

Collection housing before treatment

During Treatment- Humidification chamber

Collection housing after treatment

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Last updated June 1, 2011

 

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