Restoring an ancient book

My father-in-law gave me a book from his childhood the other day to fix. It was the one they took to school. Spain is like that. The book was with the cover in bad condition and with loose inner sheets. I'm sorry but I can't find any before photos. I made them, but I don't know where they are :-(

Textbook of the Franco era Spain is like this

It is a book of the dictatorship. The children took it to school, and it belongs to the Editorial Escuela Española. Inside we find pure indoctrination. politics stuff. But I think the book has historical value and it seemed a crime to throw it away. Inside pages of the dictatorship book

I found it like this. With the cover loose, the spine torn, and inside pages loose.

restoration and gluing of the book

I'm not a restaurateur and I didn't have the queues I wanted either, so if there is an expert in the room, forgive me and comment on what he would have done.

Restoration of the book in question

The first thing I did was glue the inner sheets. I ordered a loose sheet that was there and glued it as seen in the image. Holding him with some cats so that he does not move. It should not be caught from far behind, if not by pressing with the jacks the spine opens. I helped myself that some blind shelves to cover more surface and that it was the best possible. once well attached, you just had to put strain.

How to queue a book for repair

La choice of glue, glue or binder it is an important subject in which I have not made the best choice. I used carpenter's glue because it is flexible and because it is what I had at home. But it can change the pH of the leaf and cause it to spoil in the long run. At the end of the article I leave a few links where they talk about queues and that I have to read carefully.

The restoration is of an object of solely sentimental value, the book is not a great antique and the dilemma was between repairing it or having it thrown away.

Next I have taken a brown envelope paper, it is similar to brown paper. the color was not out of tune at all and it also seems quite strong.

restore with envelope similar to brown paper



Sorry for the image quality. This is the idea, to cover that section of roof. I will cover the glued spine with the paper. And the cover will go over this new coating to see if with the images I can explain it better.

fix or restore old book

I did not want to glue the fabric spine directly onto the glued sheet block. I have glued on the block of leaves, but notice that I do not glue to the end but I leave part that will be glued to the covers, with this I give it more mobility than if everything were glued, then the first sheet would be almost useless

different steps to repair a book

Now I trim the excess length and glue the covers carefully.

Restore spine, bindingbook

A simulation of how it will be.

fixing inside of book cover

I have used carpenter's glue, so it is put on both sides, left to dry for about 10 minutes and then the two parts are joined. very carefully and removing the excess part.

And well, that's how it ended up. At least after handling it, it goes perfectly, it opens, closes and no sheet is released. I hope it lasts a few years ;-)

Francoist book held at school

Binding a book step by step

In this article we already talk how bind a book, project or similar in cloth. Very interesting it will serve you for many things.

In the library there is a book about traditional japanese binding. I write it down to read it shortly and tell you how. In addition to seeing the parts and names of a book, which goes a long way.

And if you like the whole topic of digitization and book creation, you may be interested

Tails for binding

I leave some sites that I want to review to learn more about the subject. I promise an article on this that really is a topic I want to delve into.

Any suggestion, idea or comment is welcome


2 comments on "Restoring an ancient book"

  1. Good morning, first of all you introduced me, my name is Francisco Fernández, I am an archivist, parochial, and there are some books that the spine and covers are damaged, how could I restore them, I have been told that there is a type of adhesive spine on the market, may be, thanks


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