BPG Board Attachment

From MediaWiki

Book and Paper Group Wiki > Book Conservation Wiki > Board Attachment

Board attachment describes the various methods of securing book boards to a text block. Boards can be attached individually to each side of the text block, or they can be attached to an outer covering first, and this unit attached to the textblock. The latter is called a case. In general, boards are either sewn, laced or glued, or some combination of these.

This page discusses and illustrates board attachment methods. For a discussion of treatment techniques for reattaching detached boards, see Board Reattachment.

Wiki Contributors: Pam Barrios, Chris McAffee, please add your name here

Copyright 2024. The AIC Wiki is a publication of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). It is published as a convenience for the members of AIC. Publication does not endorse nor recommend any treatments, methods, or techniques described herein. Information on researching with and citing the wiki can be found on the Reference and Bibliography Protocols page.

Cite this page:

American Institute for Conservation (AIC). "BPG Board Attachment." AIC Wiki. April 21, 2024. https://www.conservation-wiki.com/wiki/BPG_Board_Attachment.

Sewn boards[edit | edit source]

A continuation of the sewing thread of the text sections is fed through holes in the boards and wrapped around the spine edge of each board. The outermost section of text may be covered and used as boards.

  • Cockerell, S. 1977. Ethiopian Binding, Designer Bookbinders Review.

Laced Supports[edit | edit source]

In a supported sewing system, the supports extend beyond the textblock spine and are used to secure the boards. Common supports are cords and tapes. These extended supports are fed through holes made to accept them. In this style of attachment, grooves and channels are often cut to recess the supports and these are “fixed” by paste or animal glue, creating a combination of lacing and gluing. Extensions of the endband sewing can also be used as additional attachments.

Sec3-c5 french outside sm.jpg
Sec3-c5 french outside groove sm.jpg
Sec3-c5 french inside cord1 sm.jpg
Sec3-c5 french inside cord2 sm.jpg


• Miura, K. T. 1984. My World of Bibliophile Binding. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Sec3-c5 9thcent open sm.jpg
Sec3-c5 9thcent closed sm.jpg
Sec3-c5 9thcent inside sm.jpg


• Sewing double cord (Herringbone)


• Laura Wait's model from Tony Cain's workshop in Austin, TX.

Laced Case[edit | edit source]

The limp vellum system of covering attaches a case by using a system of lacing. In this instance, gluing is not always necessary

Sec3-c5 limp outside sm.jpg
Sec3-c5 limp spine sm.jpg
Sec3-c5 limp inside sm.jpg


• Clarkson, C. 1982. Limp Vellum Binding, Herts, England: 1982.

Glued Supports, Hinges, or Other Attachments[edit | edit source]

  • Paper Hinges
One or more outer leaves of the outer sewn sections may be used as a hinge and glued to the boards.
  • Cloth Hinges
A cloth hinge may be hooked around and sewn to the outermost signature of the textblock. This hinge is glued to the boards.

Sec3-c5 bradel case sm.jpg
Sec3-c5 bradel case nested sm.jpg

  • Spine Linings
Cloth or vellum may be glued across the spine and extended to create hinges, which are then glued to the boards.


See link below for journal article and illustrations.


• The American Institute for Conservation
The Restoration Rebinding of Speculum Naturale by Vincent of Beauvais, and the Subsequent Development of Several Options for Conservation Rebinding Structures Based on Details Found During the Restoration. v.6, 1987 p.
By Bruce R. Levy http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/bpg/annual/v06/bp06-08.html
  • Split board
Tapes or hinges are glued between the two parts of a double-board.

Historical models, text, and photographs by Pamela Barrios.

History of This Page[edit | edit source]

Prior to the creation of the AIC Conservation Wiki, this page was created as "Section 3 - Chapter 5 - Board Attachment" of the Book Conservation Catalog by Pam Barrios and Chris McAffee. For more see: History of the BPG Wiki.

Book and Paper Group Wiki
Wiki Editor Resources

Contributors' Toolbox · Reference and Bibliography Protocols · Accessing Conservation Literature (AIC) · Help Wanted · Template for New Page

Materials and Tips

Annual Meeting Tips Sessions · Materials, Equipment, and Tools · Adhesives · Adhesive Recipes and Tips · Leather Research · Conservation Supply Sources (AIC) · Gels, Thickeners, and Viscosity Modifiers (ECPN)

Examination, Documentation, and Analysis

Glossary of Terms · Visual Examination · Written Documentation · Documentation of Books · Watermarks · Fiber Identification · Spot Tests · Analytical Techniques (PSG) · Non-destructive Testing and Instrumental Analysis (PMG) · Oddy Tests (R&A) · Microchemical Testing (R&A)


Selection for Preservation · Exhibition, Supports, and Transport · Choosing Materials for Storage, Exhibition & Transport (AIC) · Imaging and Digitization · Housings · Matting and Framing · Encapsulation · Collection Care (AIC) · Integrated Pest Management (AIC) · Environmental Guidelines (AIC) · Environmental Monitoring (AIC) · Agents of Deterioration (AIC) · Light (AIC) · Pollutants (AIC)

Disaster Recovery

Emergency Preparedness & Response (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Paper (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Books (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Skin and Leather (AIC) · Mold

Conservation History and Ethics

AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice · Culturally Sensitive Treatment · Conservation Ethics (AIC) · Sustainable Practices (AIC) · History of Conservation and Conservators (AIC) · History of the BPG Wiki

Book Conservation Topics
Structural Elements of the Book

Endpapers · Endbands · Sewing and Leaf Attachment · Book Boards · Board Attachment · Book Decoration · Fastenings and Furniture

Covering Materials

Animal Skin and Leather · Cloth Bookbinding · Paper Bookbinding · Parchment Bookbinding

Treatment Techniques

Washing of Books · Alkalinization of Books · Leaf Attachment and Sewing Repair · Board Reattachment · Use of Leather in Book Conservation

Bookbinding Traditions

Bookbinding Traditions by Region or Culture · East Asian Book Formats · Ethiopian Bindings · Greek-Style Bindings · Western African Books and Manuscripts

Specialized Formats

Scrapbooks · Atlases, Foldouts, and Guarded Structures

Circulating Collections

Circulating Collections · Case Binding