BPG Book Boards

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Book boards are rigid, flat sheets that form the central component of book covers. Serving to support and protect the text block, they may be composed of a variety of materials. This page includes information on the history, manufacture, and conservation treatment of book boards.

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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 Book Boards." AIC Wiki. April 21, 2024. https://www.conservation-wiki.com/wiki/BPG_Book_Boards.

Boards in Western Books[edit | edit source]

(This chapter is thus far limited to English sources)

1) Types of Board, years, identifying, examples and issues:

Leather (pre-17th C)[edit | edit source]

Leather is rarely used as a board material, but Middleton does note two examples, one from the 12th C and another from the early 16th C.

Wood (Before 1520s)[edit | edit source]

Wood was the standard book board material until the 16th C. The wood was usually quarter cut to prevent warping. Oak was common in medieval English books. Birch, poplar, and pine were common in Scotland.

"Wood from beech and oak trees was used on the great majority of fifteenth-century European books. Both are close-grained hardwoods and beech was the wood most commonly used in both Germany and Italy and oak was commonly used in most northern European countries, though both will be found in both areas and wood from other trees can also be found. Not all wooden boards were made from indigenous trees, and Baltic oak has been found on bindings made in England during the fifteenth century (Pickwoad 2017, citing Szirmai 1999 and Hadgraft 1998)."

Wooden boards began to be replaced by pasteboards in England in about 1500 and were uncommon by 1550. Some places, like Oxford and Scotland, used wooden boards until about 1700.

  • Early boards - There are very few early bindings extant, but the boards from one, the 7th C Stonyhurst Gospel, are of very thin birch.
  • 12th-13th C — boards are generally very thick (< ½” thick) and have square cut edges.
  • 13th-15th C — boards still quite thick, but outside edges steeply beveled on undecorated bindings, or gently beveled on decorated bindings.
  • 15th-16th C — inside and outside edges often beveled, particularly on vellum-leaved books
  • After 1600
  • German tawed pigskin bindings in wooden boards from the 16th-18th C always have beveled inside and outside edges.
  • Large bibles for communal use frequently had wooden boards.
  • Thin wooden boards, scabboards, are still occasionally used (see below)
  • Decorated wooden boards occasionally used in mid-19th C

Pasteboard (1500 — 1900)[edit | edit source]

Pasteboard began to be used in the early 1500s and was common by 1550. It was a standard book board material from 1600 through 1900. Made by pasting leaves of paper together, this board can be distinguished by its laminate structure. The paper layers were generally made up from discarded printed sheets or poor quality, unsized blank paper.

Waterleaf (1530s — 1900)[edit | edit source]

Middleton describes waterleaf as a variety of pasteboard. It is formed while the paper is still wet; the pressing together of the wet pages forms a tight bond between the layers which is more difficult to delaminate than traditional pasteboard. The resulting boards are sometimes then pasted to each other to form a thicker board. This thicker board frequently delaminates along the paste layers.

Pulpboard (1610s — 1960s)[edit | edit source]

Formed on a mold from pulped paper and board scraps. The finished pulpboard frequently contains visible traces of is origins: printed text, fabric scraps, vellum shavings, wood chips, straw. Middleton introduced the term “pulpboard,” but it appears to be in common usage now.

Scaleboard (17th -19th C)[edit | edit source]

Variously known as scabboard, sca'board, scaberd, scabbard, scabard, scaleboard, and scale-board. Very thin wood, like a shingle. Small retail bindings. Frequently used in 17th to early 19th C America (esp. New England), where paper was scarce and expensive. Scaleboard was a mass-produced material made by craftsmen known as "scale board cutters," who split the thin board using an engine plane. Scaleboard was produced primarily for the box-making industry, but was also used in making scabbards, baking trays, typesetting reglets, etc. See Miller 2013, Townsend 2013, Wolcott 2013, and Williams 2017.

Millboard (late 1600s until early 1900s)[edit | edit source]

  • Uncommon before 1710. Replaced pasteboard and pulpboard for fine binding. Made in a mill from rope fiber, generally from ropes discarded by the shipping industry. Not laminated or pasted, but sometime referred to in early publications as “pasteboard.”
  • From the 1850s or earlier available in many varieties, from best black to cheap grey board
  • Cheaper varieties began to be produced by machine in the 19th C, containing mostly paper scraps. This is also called “machine made millboard” and was replaced in the 1860s — 1880s by strawboard
  • Can be distinguished from pulpboard by the milled (pressed and smooth) surface?
  • Real rope fiber millboard used in England for fine binding until WWII.

Strawboard (1860s - ???)[edit | edit source]

Began to be used for lower grades of binding (like yellow-backs) in the 1860s before becoming a standard board material by the 1880s.

Inventories of binderies make it quite apparent that binders made their own pasteboards, and they seem to have done so until late in the seventeenth century, and possibly later, when they seem to have been marketed by manufacturers (Middleton, 65).

Boards in Non-Western Books[edit | edit source]

For further sources, please visit the Bookbinding Traditions by Region or Culture page. Additional suggestions and sources are welcome.

Armenian[edit | edit source]

Byzantine[edit | edit source]

  • Wooden boards were used up until the middle of the 16th century, when pasteboards began to be used more frequently (Boudalis 2016).
  • Some examples exist with boards made of laminated parchment and paper (Boudalis 2016).
  • Prior to the middle of the 17th century, boards are usually flush with the text block and usually have grooves along the edges (Boudalis 2016, Szirmai 1999, 73-75).
  • Grain direction of wooden boards may be either vertical or horizontal (Szirmai 1999, 73-75).
  • Types of wood used include poplar, conifer, oak, beech, walnut, fruitwoods, and olive (Szirmai 1999, 73).
  • Wooden boards may be a wide range of thicknesses, from 5.5 to 22.5 mm (Szirmai 1999, 73-75).
  • The spine edges of the boards may be rounded on either the outer face, inner face, both faces, or neither (Szirmai 1999, 73-75).
  • In the 17th century, the boards begin to be slightly larger than the text block, and the grooves in the board edges begin to be phased out (Boudalis 2016).

Chinese, Korean, Japanese[edit | edit source]

Side-stitched books

  • The covers of Chinese bindings are usually thinner and consist of a single sheet of paper, while Japanese and Korean paper covers tend to be thicker and include multiple layers of paper as reinforcement. Some sources refer to these additional layers of paper as boards (Munn 2009, Song 2009, Martinique 1983).
  • Laminated layers of recycled paper were used in the covers of Japanese books during the Edo period, typically for mass-produced, printed books (Hioki 2009).
  • A detached wrapper or wrap-around case, usually containing several fascicles, traditionally provides additional protection to these comparatively soft-cover books. The wrapper usually includes pasteboards. This type of housing should be seen as integral to protecting the text, and further protection traditionally could include wooden boxes or chests, some of which had insect-repellent properties (Munn 2009, Martinique 1983).
  • In wrappers for Chinese books, the paste used to create the boards may have included additives with insect-repellent properties, or additives to make the boards harder and stronger (Martinique 1983).

Other formats (albums, account books, and receipt books)

  • Covers of accordion-style albums typically include pasteboards (Ikegami 1986, Martinique 1983).
  • Pasteboard was also used traditionally for the covers of Japanese account books and receipt books (Ikegami 1986).

Coptic[edit | edit source]

  • Prior to the 7th century, Coptic codices included wooden boards without covering material (Needham 1979, 7)(Szirmai 1999, 23).
  • Some examples of wooden boards from early Coptic codices have been identified as boxwood and acacia (Szirmai 1999, 23).
  • There are some existing codices with papyrus pasteboards from before 7th century (Szirmai 1999, 28-30). However, papyrus pasteboards are more common in codices from 7th to 11th centuries (Needham 1979, Szirmai 1999).
  • Less common materials may include hemp fiber boards (Needham 1979, 17), or boards including scraps of various materials such as flax, straw, used parchment, linen or leather (Szirmai 1999, 35).
  • Some Coptic codices dated to after the 7th century include double boards (Szirmai 1999, 37).

Ethiopian[edit | edit source]

Islamic[edit | edit source]

  • In existing examples, boards are predominantly paper pasteboards and are relatively thin. According to Scheper, the average board thickness is 2.4 millimeters (2019, 119).
  • Boards were generally created from laminated paper sheets or paper pulp. Waste paper was sometimes used.
  • Earlier manuscripts with parchment leaves likely had wooden boards, but few known examples of these exist (Scheper 2019, 161)(Bosch 1981, 57).
  • Other board materials encountered less frequently include leather boards and sheets of rattan or bamboo woven into a sheet. These boards are more likely to be found in Central and Southeast Asia (Scheper 2019, 119-120).
  • Some covers may not include boards at all.
  • In books with a fore-edge flap, a board core may be included in the flap, which is typically similar in thickness to the boards used for the covers.

Palm Leaf[edit | edit source]

  • Most surviving examples date to the 18th or 19th centuries (Sah 2002, Lammerts 2010).
  • Cover boards are usually wood and the entire volume is usually further protected by an outer textile wrapping.
  • Boards are usually slightly larger than the text (Sah 2002).
  • In some examples, the entire book, including boards and palm leaves, may be shaped in the form of animals, daggers, or fish (Sah 2002).
  • Finishes on the boards may include stains, paint, lacquer, or mother-of-pearl or ivory onlays (Sah 2002, Van Dyke 2009).

Syriac[edit | edit source]

Conservation of Boards[edit | edit source]

Common Condition Concerns[edit | edit source]

Boards are meant to protect the text block, in doing so often become badly worn or broken. Most frequently, the board corners will be worn, soft, and delaminating, or lost completely. Board edges are also commonly worn, with losses to the covering material. Losses in covering material at the spine edges are also common. Often losses of the boards include damage to the covering material, such as scratches, abrasions, accretions, and insect damage.

Board Reattachment[edit | edit source]

See Board Reattachment page

Repairing Splits (Wooden Boards)[edit | edit source]

Most commonly, splits in wooden boards are mended using hide glue or gelatin (see Middleton 2004, Wolcott 2013), though epoxies and acrylic resins have also been used. Mechanical reinforcement, such as dowels, have been used to reinforce splits on large wooden boards (see Clarkson 1999). Strips of parchment or paper can be adhered to provide exterior reinforcement (see Hagadorn and Peachey 2010).

Filling Losses[edit | edit source]

Wood[edit | edit source]

Large losses on a scaleboard, shown before, during, and after a bulked epoxy fill (Williams 2017).

The selection of fill material should depend on the size, nature, and location of the areas of damage. Newly shaped wood can be used to compensate large areas of loss. A wooden fill can be attached via adhesive (hide glue, gelatin, Paraloid B-72) or mechanical attachment (dowels, butterfly joins), though the latter is more invasive and requires the original boards to be thick (see Middleton 2004). For smaller areas of loss (such as wormholes) or for damage too complex for a carved wooden fill, an adhesive-based fill can work more easily. Adhesives can be used for fills with the addition of a bulking agent, such as wood dust, cellulose powder, or microballoons. Commonly used adhesives include hide glue and wheat starch paste (see Middleton 2004), Paraloid B-72 (see Ralph 2014), and epoxies (see Quandt 1991, Aubry 2009, Williams 2017, Magee 2021). Also available are pre-bulked epoxy putties that are designed to mimic the mechanical properties of wood. Because they harden through a reaction, rather than through drying, epoxies lose little to no volume, making them ideal for filling losses. Due to their irreversibility, though, they require the initial application of a reversible barrier layer; the most commonly used reversible barrier layer for wood is hide glue or gelatin, though Paraloid B-72 has also been used (see Williams 2017, Magee 2021). Epoxy can also be combined with internal and external support materials such as fiberglass for additional reinforcement (see Magee 2021).

Pasteboard, Pulpboard, Strawboard, Millboard[edit | edit source]

Losses are also common in fiberboards, though these losses are typically of a different nature than those on wooden boards. Losses are most common at the corners where covering materials have worn away. Small losses can be filled by making a cellulose-based pulp or putty out of wheat starch paste and fibers; shredded Japanese papers and linen cords are commonly used for this process. When losses are too large for pulp fills alone, an extension can be built from layers of Japanese paper adhered between layers of the original board. Paste pulp can then be added to the extension until the desired thickness is achieved. (This layered fill material should avoid being stiffer or stronger than the original board.)

Re-adhering Layers[edit | edit source]

One of the most common forms of damage on non-wooden boards (pasteboard, waterleaf, pulpboard, millboard) is delamination or fraying at the edges and corners where the covering material has been lost and the board is exposed. Layers can be readhered with wheat starch paste, though often the layers first need to be flattened or reconfigured using a microspatula. Once the area has been saturated with thin paste, it should be dried under pressure. A bulldog clip or clamp can be used in conjunction with layers of board, blotter, and non-woven polyester (Reemay or Hollytex). Once dried, replacement covering materials can be applied to protect the board from future damage. This process is also known as "consolidating board corners."

Aesthetic Repairs[edit | edit source]

Making New Boards[edit | edit source]

Descriptive Terminology[edit | edit source]

What is a board?[edit | edit source]

Sources commonly describe boards as rigid, flat sheets, which may be composed of a variety of materials, and are the central component of book covers. Both Etherington and Roberts and Ligatus emphasize that boards serve to support and protect the text block. Etherington and Roberts use the term "board" to describe thick paper and the term “boards” as pieces of flat sheet material used to assist in gripping books during various stages of binding. They use "binder’s board" as a general term for the component of the book which encompasses pasteboard, millboard, strawboard, chipboard, and rag board. For the purposes of this Wiki page, the terms "board" and "boards" will refer to the component of book covers.

Ligatus[edit | edit source]

In the Ligature Language of Bindings Thesaurus, terminology regarding boards can be found under two different concepts. The majority of the terms are listed under boards as a subset of components and under boards as a subset of sheet materials. The varieties are further broken down as follows:

Boards as a subset of components

  • constructed boards Boards for exceptionally large books which are made up from multiple components such as planks and rails, or battens sitting in dovetail grooves.
  • cut-flush boards Boards that have been cut flush together with the bookblock.
  • double boards Two independently covered boards adhered together, of which the inner, or primary board is usually attached to the bookblock and edged with leather, and the outer, or secondary board covered fully in tanned skin is then adhered to it.
  • folded boards Boards made from papyrus and folded along their spine edges and sewn through [...] pieces of thin card were folded along their spine edges and sewn through the fold at the beginning and end of the bookblock, creating sewn boards. Expanding gussets of paper, textile or tanned or alum-tawed skin were then inserted at the head and tail to create pockets for keeping notes in. [...]
  • primary boards The boards which are attached directly to a sewn bookblock by means of sewing supports slips, bridling, etc.
  • secondary boards The boards which are attached to the outside of primary boards by adhesive and are independently covered.
  • wrapped laminated boards Boards made from one piece of sheet material enclosed within another which has been wrapped around one edge of the inner lamination and covers both sides of it.

Boards as a subset of sheet materials Board as it is manufactured in large sheets before being cut to size as the boards for use on individual books.

  • Board material by manufacture
    • cartonnage A thick cover paper made by hand in a single sheet from pulp with very long fibres, and heavily sized with gelatin. [...]
    • laminated board Boards composed of two or more layers of sheet material, which may or may not be adhered together.
      • adhesive-laminated board Boards in which pieces of a previously-manufactured sheet material are held together with an adhesive. Such boards were from an early date also known as pasteboards, but this term has traditionally been used almost exclusively of boards made from paper, and within that category, has been used rather indiscriminately of different types of paper board and cannot be relied on to denote exclusively this type of board manufacture. Adhesive laminates have also been made from parchment, leather, tawed skin, textile, papyrus and hemp fibre as well as paper (or combinations of these) [...]
      • paste-laminate board Board material made by pasting together pieces of sheet material most often but not always paper and, frequently, re-used paper. [...]
      • couched-laminate board Couched laminates were made by couching sheets of paper one on top of the other straight from the papermaker's vat, relying on the hydrogen bonds formed between the sheets to hold them together, reinforced by heavy pressing after couching. Because such boards were made in paper mills, they are also known as millboard [...]
    • pulp board ): A board material made in single thick sheets from coarsely pulped paper, typically acquired from the trimmings from the cut edges of bookblocks, waste printed or manuscript paper, etc. [...]
  • Board material by material
    • paper board Board made entirely of paper by whatever means (laminated, pulp, etc.). The term can be used where the boards of a book are completely covered and the means of their manufacture cannot be identified, but where it is clear that they are made of paper.
      • rope fibre board A particular type of couched-laminate board widely used in England in the 18th century and later, made from rope fibre.
    • wooden board Plank-like wooden boards ranging in thickness from approximately 4 to 20 mm (and occasionally thicker), as opposed to sca'boards which will be found in the range 1 to 3 mm. Thick wooden boards will often be shaped around the edges or across the outer surface and will usually have holes or tunnels drilled in them for the slips of sewing supports and/or endband cores. In the absence of a pre-existing term for these boards, we are describing them simply as wooden boards, and using the term sca'boards to identify the much thinner split boards.
      • quartered boards Wooden planks obtained from the trunk of a tree inline with the medullary rays radiating from the centre of the trunk, with the growth rings at right angles to the sides of the planks. Such planks were procured either by splitting or sewing the wood along the medullary rays.
        • quarter-cleft boards Boards obtained on the quarter from the trunk by splitting the wood along the medullary rays with axes or wedges.
        • quarter-sawn boards Boards obtained on the quarter from the trunk by splitting the wood along the medullary rays with axes or wedges.
      • scaleboards Scaleboard (or sca'board) is a thin board most often split from blocks of wood with a metal froe. In European bookbinding, sca'boards were most often obtained from beech, whose fine, straight grain made it most suitable for this purpose. It differs from the thicker, cleft planks also obtained by splitting timber in that it is much thinner, ranging from approximately 3mm down to less than 1mm. At such thicknesses, the wood is easily broken and it was therefore sometimes laminated to or between pieces of paper board.[...]

List of Terms[edit | edit source]

back cornering: the act of cutting away a small triangular piece of the board corner at both the head and tail of the spine edges, in order to reduce strain on the joints caused by the additional thickness of the covering material when the book opens (Etherington and Roberts).

Back cornering from Etherington and Roberts (1982). Drawings by Margaret R. Brown.

beveled boards: usually large, heavy boards, often wood, that have been sanded or otherwise shaped at the edges. Boards may be beveled on the outside, inside, or both, and on some or all of the edges. The manner in which boards are beveled can help to support other material evidence regarding a book’s relative time-period and culture of origin. (Etherington and Roberts)

binder's board: Etherington and Roberts use this as a general term encompassing fibrous and/or laminated boards, including pasteboard, millboard, strawboard, chipboard, and rag board. Middleton says this is synonymous with millboard.

made boards: a board that is created from a thinner board and a thicker board adhered together by the bookbinder or conservator. This may be desirable for large books that need thicker boards than are available through manufacturers. (Etherington and Roberts)

yawning boards: boards that are warped and curve up and away from the fore edge of the text block. This condition is often seen with books that have parchment coverings. (Etherington and Roberts)

References[edit | edit source]

Aubry, Thierry. 2009. “La restauration des ais de bois.” Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Département de la Conservation.

Binders Guild Newsletter. 1998. “Wooden Boards.” Binders Guild Newsletter 21(4): 38-61.

Bosch, Gulnar, John Carswell, and Guy Petherbridge. 1981. Islamic Binding and Bookmaking: a Catalogue of an Exhibition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 56-58.

Boudalis, Georgios. 2016. "The Transition from Byzantine to post-Byzantine Bookbindings: A Statistical Analysis of Some Crucial Changes." Book and Paper Conservation 2: 12-29. Accessed online through Academia.edu April 15, 2020.

Bower, Peter. 2002. “Strong Stuff: an Historical Survey of Boards and Boardmaking” New Bookbinder 22. 17-22.

Checkley-Scott, Caroline. 2008. “The Syriac Book.” Contributions to the Symposium on the Care and Conservation of Middle Eastern Manuscripts, The University of Melbourne, Austrailia, 26-28 November 2007. Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne, Austrailia. 49-54.

Clarkson, Christopher. 1999. “Minimum Intervention in Treatment of Books.” In Pre-Prints, 9th IADA-Congress. August 15–21, 1999. Copenhagen: International Association of Book and Paper Conservators. 89–96.

Coptic Bindings. The Morgan Library & Museum. Accessed April 24, 2020. https://www.themorgan.org/collection/coptic-bindings.

Croft, Jim. 2013. "Finding Suitable Wood for Book Boards and Related Considerations". In Miller, Julia, ed. Suave Mechanicals : Essays on the History of Bookbinding v.2. Ann Arbor, Mich. : Legacy Press.

Details the selection and shaping of wooden book boards with many illustrations. Bibliography includes resources on historical wooden boards and their conservation. Croft advocated for boards that are what he calls "God’s Plywood", distinguished by the following characteristics (shortened to VGSGTQ):
  • Vertical growth rings (seen at end grain)
  • Straight grain (face)
  • True quarter (on the radius)

Dergham, Youssef and Francois Vinourd. 2015. “Les Reliures Syriaques: Essai de Caractérisation par Comparaison avec les Reliures Byzantines et Arméniennes.” In Cahiers D’études Syriaques 4 : Manuscripta Syriaca : Des sources de première main, edited by Françoise Briquel Chatonnet and Muriel Debie. Paris, France : Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner. 271-304.

Etherington, Don and Matt Roberts. 1982. Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology. Washington DC: Library of Congress. Available online through CoOL. Accessed February 10, 2021.

Hagadorn, Alexis and Jeffrey S. Peachey. 2010. “The Use of Parchment to Reinforce Split Wooden Bookboards, with Preliminary Observations into the Effects of RH Cycling on these Repairs.” Journal of the Institute of Conservation. 33 (1): 41-63. DOI:10.1080/19455220903528937.

Hepworth, Paul and Karin Scheper. “Terminology for the Conservation and Description of Islamic Manuscripts.” Accessed November 11, 2019.

Hille, Jenny and Sylvie L. Merian. 2011. “The Armenian Endband: History and Technique.” The New Bookbinder 31: 45-59. Accessed online through Academia.edu April 15, 2020.

Hioki, Kazuko. 2009. "Japanese Printed Books of the Edo Period (1603–1867): History and Characteristics of Block‐Printed Books." Journal of the Institute of Conservation 32 (1): 79-101.

Honey, Andrew, and Athanasios Velios. 2009. “The Historic Repair and Reuse of Byzantine Wooden Bookboards in the Manuscript Collection of the Monastery of St Catherine, Sinai.” In Holding It All Together: Ancient and Modern Approaches to Joining, Repair and Consolidation. Ed. J. Ambers. London: Archetype and British Museum. 68–77.

Ikegami, Kōsanjin, and Barbara B. Stephan. 1986. Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions from a Master Craftsman. First edition. New York: Weatherhill. 18.

Jaques, Shulla. 1999. “A Brief Survey of Paper Board and Some of the Literature Describing it with Some Definitions of Marketing Terms for Mount Boards Used in Conservation.” The Paper Conservator 23. 1-1

Jones, Peter. 1999. “Basic Woodworking Techniques: some advice on working wood for the bookbinder.” The New Bookbinder 19: 353-359.

Khan, Yasmeen, and Tamara Ohanyan. 2013. "Deceptive Covers: Armenian Bindings of 18th-Century Imprints from Constantinople." The Book and Paper Group Annual 32: 109-116.

Kropf, Evyn. 2013. “Historical Repair, Recycling, and Recovering Phenomena in the Islamic Bindings of the University of Michigan Library: Exploring the Codicological Evidence.” in Suave Mechanicals. Essays on the History of Bookbinding ,vol. 1, ed. Julia Miller (Ann Arbor, MI, The Legacy Press). 1-41.

Lammerts, Christian. 2010. “Notes on Burmese Manuscripts: Text and Images.” The Journal of Burma Studies 14: 229-254.

Lavier, Catherine. 2005. “Wood in the history of medieval book techniques: aims and know-how. First restorations.” Proceedings of Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 8, the eighth international seminar held at the University of Copenhagen. Copenhagen, DK. 19-33.

Ligatus Language of Bindings Thesaurus. Accessed September 4, 2019.

Magee, Cathie. "The conservation of the Saint Francis Missal: Modern materials used to revive a relic." Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 17: 395-414.

Malley, Mike. 2013. “Paste and Scale Board Makers in the Late Georgian Period.” The Quarterly: The Journal of the British Association of Paper Historians 85: 1-10.

Martinique, E. 1973. "The Binding and Preservation of Chinese Double-Leaved Books." The Library Quarterly 43 (3): 227-236.

Martinique, E. 1983. Chinese Traditional Bookbinding: A Study of Its Evolution and Techniques. Taipei: Chinese Materials Center.

Merian, Sylvie L. 1998. “The Armenian Bookmaking Tradition in the Christian East: A Comparison with the Syriac and Greek Traditions.” In The Bible as Book: The Manuscript Tradition, edited by John L. Sharpe III and Kimberly Van Kampen. London: The British Library, New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, in association with The Scriptorium Center for Christian Antiquities. 205-214.

Merian, Sylvie L. 2013. “Protection against the Evil Eye? Votive Offerings on Armenian Manuscript Bindings.” In Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding Volume 1, edited by Julia Miller. Ann Arbor, MI: The Legacy Press. 42-93.

Middleton, Bernard. 1996. A History of English Craft Bookbinding Techniques, Fourth Revised Edition. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press and The British Library.

Middleton, Bernard. 2004. "The Restoration of Leather Bindings." New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press and The British Library

Miller, Julia. 2010 (1st ed.) 2014 (2nd ed.). Books Will Speak Plain: a Handbook for Identifying and Describing Historical Bindings. Ann Arbor, Mich. : Legacy Press.

This book provides an excellent introduction to Western book binding styles, and is particularly notable for the wealth of bibliographic references to explore topics in greater depth, the attention paid to the more prosaic bindings of various time periods, and the great color images on the accompanying CD. Many references to wooden boards and paper boards. The author has also written about scaleboard.

Miller, Julia. 2013. “Not Just Another Beautiful Book: A Typology of American Scaleboard Bindings.” In Suave Mechanicals v. 1.

Describes the results of a survey of 858 scaleboard bindings. Many images illustrating commonalities and variants of the type. Miller speculates about Boston as center of this type of binding. Some interesting aspects of scaleboard bindings discussed are: horizontal grain direction of board, long and shallow backcornering, notched spines, tawed thong sewing supports stabbed through the gutter, and an asymmetrical blind tooling pattern.

Munn, Jesse. 2009. “Side-stitched Books of China, Korea and Japan in Western Collections.” Journal of the Institute of Conservation 32 (1): 103-127.

Needham, P. 1979. Twelve Centuries of Bookbindings: 400-1600. London: Oxford University Press.

Paterson, Dan. 2008. "An Investigation and Treatment of an Uncommon Ethiopian Binding and Consideration of its Historical Context." The Book and Paper Group Annual 27: 55-62.

Pickwoad, Nicholas. 2017. "The Techniques and Materials Used to Make bookbindings on Incunables." In: Materielle Aspekete in der Inkunabelforschung. Wolfenbütteler Schriften zur Geschichte des Buchwesens (49). Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, pp. 189-212.

Quandt, Abigail B. 1991. “The Documentation and Treatment of a late 13th Century Copy of Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies.” The Book and Paper Group Annual. 10.

Quandt, Abigail B. and Renée C. Wolcott. 2018. “The Codicology and Conservation of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest.” Manuscript Studies: a Journal of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies 3 (1): 33-68.

Ralph, Liz. 2014. “Wooden Board Infilling, Pts. 1 and 2.” Liz Ralph Conservation (blog).

Sah, Anupam. 2002. “Palm Leaf Manuscripts of the World: Material, Technology, and Conservation.” Studies in Conservation 47:sup1. 15-24

Scheper, Karin. 2019. The Technique of Islamic Bookbinding: Methods, Materials and Regional Varieties. Second Revised Edition. Boston: Brill.

Song, M. 2009. "The History and Characteristics of Traditional Korean Books and Bookbinding." Journal of the Institute of Conservation 32 (1). 53-78.

Southworth, Georgia and Francisco Trujillo. 2016. “The Coptic Bindings Collection at the Morgan Library & Museum: History, Conservation, and Access.” The Book and Paper Group Annual 35: 89-95.

Szirmai, J.A. 1999. The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.

Townsend, John. 2013. “The 1715 Mohawk Prayer Book: A Study of Six Copies in Colonial American Scaleboard Bindings.” In Suave Mechanicals v. 1.

The author examines six copies of this imprint bound in scaleboard. The author notes many of the same features as Miller's chapter in the same book, and he is able to draw conclusions about the production of this volume and early American printing and binding.

Van Dyke, Yana. 2009. “Sacred Leaves: The Conservation and Exhibition of Early Buddhist Manuscripts on Palm Leaves.” The Book and Paper Group Annual 28: 83-97.

Van Regemorter, B. 1962. “Ethiopian Bookbindings.” The Library 5(17): 85–88. https://doi.org/10.1093/library/s5-XVII.1.85. Accessed April 24, 2020.

Williams, Roger. 2017. “Scaleboard Wood and Potential Loss Replacement.” In Suave Mechanicals v. 4.

Wolcott, Renée. 2013. "Splintered: The History, Structure, and Conservation of American Scaleboard Bindings" The Book and Paper Group Annual 32.

Reviewed in the Conservators Converse Blog

History of This Page[edit | edit source]

Prior to the creation of the AIC Conservation Wiki, this page was created as "Section 3 - Chapter 4 - Boards" of the Book Conservation Catalog by Chela Metzger. For more see: History of the BPG Wiki.

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