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SG204B Program C


Introduction to Preservation and Preventive Conservation of Books

3 Units

COURSE STRUCTURE

Morning Work in the Terni Dioceses Archives: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM;
Afternoon: Lectures and Workshop 3:00-7:00 PM

Course Description

No prerequisites required

This course gives a theoretical overview of the field of book preventive conservation and restoration of books and archival material along with some practical experience in non-invasive preventive conservation. Covers historical intrusive restoration. Students describe and assess conservation conditions of archival material from the Terni Diocese Archives and implement non-intrusive preventive conservation measures on original material in the Archives (dry cleaning, re-shelving, box making).

The program is aimed at two types of students: those planning to become book conservators, and people that in various ways will be managing book or archival resources. For those planning for a career as book conservators, this is a good introduction to the field that will require further education. For those planning to manage book collections or archives, it will offer skills in analyzing the nature of bound material, understanding the state of conservation, best practices in handling, storage and conservation.

Students of the following subjects can find this program useful: Bookbinding, book conservation and restoration, library science, library management, archival sciences, management of rare book collections, book design, anthropology and history of technology.

Course Objectives

To give students an overview of the field of conservation and restoration of books and archival material along with some practical experience in non-invasive preventive conservation.

Student Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Handle correctly books and archival documents, using book cradles and supports

  • Analyze storage condition and be able to suggest improvements

  • Describe and identify the deterioration process of book bindings and contributing factors

  • Prepare documentation records for conservation assessment

  • Perform dry cleaning

  • Make archivally safe storage boxes and protections

Summary of Lecture Content

Deterioration processes of organic materials in bindings

External factors:

  • Temperature

  • Humidity

  • Light

  • Mechanical damage (handling, wear and tear)

Internal factors:

  • Natural deterioration process of organic materials

  • Chemical interaction between materials

Prevention and Minimal Conservation Methods

  • Biocides and decontamination

  • Deacidification

  • Climate control

  • Temperature

  • Humidity

  • Light

Shelving, flat file drawers and other storage units

Storage Containers

  • Drop back spine box

  • Phase box

  • Book shoe

  • Four flap folder

Housing of fragments and mounting of single sheets

Option on how to treat pamphlet, single sheet collections and miscellaneous

Handling procedures for rare and delicate books

Digitization and how to minimize risk from handling documents:

  • Minimizing damage during photographic processes

  • State of the art digitization,

  • Affordable alternatives

Conservation techniques

Proposing different treatment options and estimating times

“Fit for purpose”, different approaches to conservation treatments related to different contexts

Documentation record and what to record (data sheets/images before, during and after conservation)

In situ repairs

Full conservation treatment of bound item (hypothetical full treatment):

1. Dry cleaning

2. Checking foliation

3. Dismantling

4. Washing

5. Deacidification

6. Re-sizing

7. Re-constitution of the book block

8. Sewing (preparation of the sewing material and sewing frame)

9. New spine lining

10. New end bands like originals

11. Treatment of the cover

12. Re-application of original cover


Afternoon Workshops

Analyzing and documenting book bindings (working with books from the local archives):
Features to document
State of conservation
Data sheets
Photographic documentation

Prevention and Minimal Conservation Methods
Biocides and decontamination
Deacidifiaction
Climate control

  • Temperature

  • Humidity

  • Light

Shelving, flat file drawers and other storage units
Storage Containers
Box making:

  • Drop back spine box

  • Phase box

  • Book shoe

  • Four flap folder

Housing of fragments and mounting of single sheets

Digitization of archival material

Participate in process of photographing archival material from the San Gemini Historic Archives, as part of the San Gemini Archives Digitization Project.

Description of Assignments

Reading list supplied with acceptance to the program.

Term paper #1: 8- page paper on a topic to be assigned
Term paper #2: 8- page paper on a topic to be assigned (graduate students only)
Final exam: mixed format – quiz and essay questions

Grade Breakdown:

Term paper(s) 35%
Final Exam 35%
Archival storage-making and work 30%

Contact Hours
Lectures: 40
Workshops: 40

Grading scale:

94-100 = A 90-93 = A-
87-89 = B+ 84-86 = B
80-83 = B- 77-79 = C+
74-76 = C. 70-73 = C-
67-69 = D+. 64-66 = D
60-63 = D- Below 60 = F

Later Event: May 27
SG209 Program A