Reback

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Reback

The term reback refers to the means by which a damaged book spine is replaced in order to prevent separation of book components. A trained conservator should be involved in the completion of this process so that further wear is prevented. [1] The new spine itself may also be referred to as the reback. [2]

original spine adhered to new spine; image courtesy of Jacquelyn White and https://jacquelynpwhite.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/cloth-bound-book-repair-spine-removal-part-2/
cover lifted from board, Archival PVA painted on board, new spine on left, ready to be attached; image courtesy of Jacquelyn White and https://jacquelynpwhite.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/cloth-bound-book-repair-spine-attaching/

Related Terms

Board Reattachment

Translations

English Reback
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Italian
German
Russian
Arabic

Spine Damage

The reback process may be warranted for damage that includes wear, cracks, or tears along the spine and/or along the hinges of the book so that the boards are either partially or wholly separated from the spine. [3]

Replacing the Spine

Tools

Certain tools may be useful during the reback process, including scissors, a boxcutter, metal ruler, mini spatula, bone folder, book press, and brushes. [4] A proper adhesive like Archival PVA glue should also be used. [5]

New Spine Material

The new spine material is often chosen based on the type, color, and texture of the material used in the original book cover in order to maintain the original appearance of the book. [6] It is important that the new spine be created from nonperishable materials for the sake of preservation. [7] Materials like paper, cloth, and leather are often used in creating the new spine. [8]

Process

The original spine, if still attached, is removed from the book. [9] The new spine material is measured to match the height and width of the book plus two or three inches. A spine stiffener is also used, as the new spine material may not be sturdy enough to function alone. The spine stiffener is cut to fit the book's dimensions and glued in the center of the new spine. [10] The book cover is partially lifted from the boards at the hinges so that the new spine can be fitted underneath, allowing the new spine to be better attached to the cover, boards, and book in general. [11] Adhesive is applied to the uncovered board, the new spine is adhered, and the lifted cover is glued back over the new spine. A book press is then used to set the newly added spine. [12] If the original spine is considered salvageable, it often will be adhered over the new spine in order to maintain the book’s original appearance. [13] The original spine is trimmed to fit the new spine in a way that none of the information on the spine is lost. [14]

References

  1. NEDCC. 7.6 Conservation Treatment for Bound Materials of Value. Accessed October 26, 2015. https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/7.-conservation-procedures/7.6-conservation-treatment-for-bound-materials-of-value
  2. Glossary. Accessed October 26, 2015. http://www.ccaha.org/uploads/media_items/conservation-glossary.original.pdf
  3. Alibris. Glossary of Book Terms.</small> Accessed October 25, 2015. http://www.alibris.com/glossary/glossary-books#r
  4. Illinois Periodicals Online at Northern Illinois University. Book Repair Manual. Accessed October 26, 2015. http://www.lib.niu.edu/1995/il950276.html
  5. Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). Book Repair Basics for Libraries. Accessed October 26, 2015. http://downloads.alcts.ala.org/ce/091411book_repair_basics.pdf
  6. Book Repair Instructions. Rebacking - Constructing a Replacement Spine. Accessed October 26, 2015. http://book-repair.com/tag/making-book-spine-replacement/
  7. About Bookbinding. Book Repair and Restoration: Book Rebacking Part 1. Accessed October 26, 2015. http://www.aboutbookbinding.com/Book_Repair/Book_Rebacking.html
  8. NEDCC. 7.6 Conservation Treatment for Bound Materials of Value. Accessed October 26, 2015. https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/7.-conservation-procedures/7.6-conservation-treatment-for-bound-materials-of-value
  9. Illinois Periodicals Online at Northern Illinois University. Book Repair Manual. Accessed October 26, 2015. http://www.lib.niu.edu/1995/il950276.html
  10. Northeast Document Conservation Center. Intermediate Book Repair: Rebacking. Accessed October 26, 2015. https://www.minitex.umn.edu/Storage/Preservation/Repair/Reback.pdf
  11. NEDCC. 7.6 Conservation Treatment for Bound Materials of Value. Accessed October 26, 2015. https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/7.-conservation-procedures/7.6-conservation-treatment-for-bound-materials-of-value
  12. Archiving Desk to Desk. Cloth Bound Book Repair: Spine Attaching. Accessed October 27, 2015. https://jacquelynpwhite.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/cloth-bound-book-repair-spine-attaching/
  13. The Currier Bindery. Methods: Rebacking. Accessed October 25, 2015. http://www.currierbindery.com/home/restoration/methods-rebacking/
  14. Illinois Periodicals Online at Northern Illinois University. Book Repair Manual. Accessed October 26, 2015. http://www.lib.niu.edu/1995/il950276.html