Talk:BPG Parchment Bookbinding

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Suggested Changes[edit source]

I suggest the following additions to the page (mostly from Southworth).--Kkelly (talk) 14:46, 19 September 2022 (UTC)

Repair Material[edit source]

Parchment[edit source]

A skin similar to the material to be repaired can be used to adhesively or non-adhesively reinforce the original material. The skin is thinned at the edges by paring or sanding (Southworth 2004, video presentation).

Goldbeater's Skin[edit source]

Goldbeater's skin is (insert brief definition). (insert existing text).

Alum Tawed Goldbeater's Skin[edit source]

Alum tawed goldbeater's skin is (brief definition). Recommended in (Southworth 2004, video presentation)

Alum Tawed Skin[edit source]

Can be used as a rebacking material for stiff board parchment bindings, especially when the new material must mould around raised bands (Southworth 2004, video presentation).

Cloth[edit source]

Cloth is sometimes used to for board reattachment, either by itself or underneath kozo paper. Aerocotton (airplane cotton) or aerolinen (airplane linen) is chosen for its strength (Southworth 2004, video presentation).

Ramie Band[edit source]

Ramie band can be used to support or replace original parchment sewing supports and laces.

Ramie band (or ramieband) is a strip of non-woven vegetable fiber. It can by used to reinforce or replace parchment laces in limp or stiff parchment laced cases. It can be toned with acrylic paint.

Paper[edit source]

Many conservators use long-fiber kozo (and perhaps mitsumata or gampi?) paper for repairs, either alone or in combination with the above materials. Fills can made by sandwiching multiple layers of toned tissue adhered with PVAc. Klucel G can be used as a coating over tissue mends, and once dry, burnished to make it look more like parchment (Southworth 2004, video presentation).

Adhesives[edit source]

Adhesives described in the literature include wheat starch paste, gelatin size, and PVAc (Southworth 2004, video presentation), and Jade 711 PVAc and Lascaux 498HV (Paterson 2018).

Humidification and Flattening of Covers (add to existing section)[edit source]

Techniques used in the humidification and flattening of parchment folios can be adapted to parchment book covers.

Detached limp or stiff-board parchment covers can be humidified with blotters and Reemay, in a Gore-tex pack, or in a humidity chamber, and then flattened using pins and clips, a suction table, or under weights. Some of these techniques can be done in situ, with the book well wrapped to protect it from damp. Extended drying times under weight (a week or more) will help the binding reacclimate (Southworth 2004, video presentation).

Procedure for in situ flattening of splayed stiff board parchment covers:

  1. Wrap text block in plastic wrap and insert Mylar fences.
  2. Set up a humidification chamber for upper board using a Gore-tex pack. Humidification from both sides of a board is faster and will do a better job of humidifying turn-ins. Humidification from just the outside can avoid overwetting the pastedown, or any media on the pastedown.
  3. Place cotton batting above cover to keep humidification materials in contact with board.
  4. Let humidify, checking often. This can take between 5 minutes and two hours.
  5. When parchment is humidified and boards are malleable, remove from humidification chamber.
  6. Add drying materials (blotters or felts) under and above the board to reshape it. A slight overcorrection will encourage the boards to relax into a flat position when the drying materials are removed.
  7. Let dry for a week or more.
  8. This process can be repeated as necessary to achieve the final result.


Procedure for flattening limp or stiff board parchment covers off the book:

  1. If necessary, detach the binding from the text block. For stiff or limp laced cases, this can be done by lifting the pastedowns at the gutter edge to expose and release the laces and any overhanging linings. Soften the laces and the holes in the case with 50:50 water:ethanol, being careful to not over-wet the parchment. Gently manipulate the laces out of the lacing holes, allowing the text block to be separated from the case.
  2. Set up a humidification chamber for the case using a double-sided Gore-tex pack.
  3. Place cotton batting above cover to keep humidification materials in contact with board.
  4. Let humidify, checking often. This can take between 5 minutes and two hours.
  5. When parchment is humidified and boards are malleable, remove from humidification chamber.
  6. Add drying materials (blotters or felts) under and above the case to reshape it. A slight overcorrection will encourage the boards to relax into a flat position when the drying materials are removed.
  7. Splits in the joints can be repaired at this point, while the parchment is softened.
  8. Let dry for a week or more.
  9. The humidification can be repeated as necessary to achieve the final result, and targeted spine humidification can help allow the case to be molded around the text block prior to re-lacing and case reattachment.

Historic Parchment Book Covers[edit source]

Stiff-Board Parchment Binding (add text to existing section, above the "not used in England" text)[edit source]

Blaeu, Atlas Maior, 1667, original binding sewn on parchment tapes laced into a stiff board parchment binding.

"Dutch Binding"

Seventeenth century Amsterdam was a center for publishing and bookbinding, and a common product of the time was a stiff-board, hollow back vellum binding, sewn on flat parchment tapes, with gilded edges and covers decorated with gold tooled medallions, borders and corner pieces. The cartographer Joan Blaeu partnered with local bookbinders to issue his atlases with these distinctive bindings, sometimes embellished with the purchaser's personal coats of arms. When collectors across Europe later expanded their atlas sets or other publishers added to the genre, this style was widely imitated (Fontaine Verway 1981, 197, 207).

References (add to existing section)[edit source]

Fontaine Verway, Herman de la. 1981. “The Glory of the Blaeu Atlas and the 'Master Colourist'.” Quaerendo 11 (3). DOI:10.1163/157006981X00229.

Discusses the distinctive “Dutch Atlas Bindings”.

Southworth, Nancy. 2004. "Conservation of Historic Bindings Using Adhesive and Non-Adhesive Methods." Presentation at the 24th Standards of Excellence Seminar. On the Guild website, one can find a video of the presentation (available to buy or rent); the handout, "The Conservation of Limp and Hard Board Parchment Bindings."; and Dorothy Africa's write-up of the presentation for GBW Journal (Africa, Dorothy. 2006. "Conservation of Historic Bindings Using Adhesive and Nonadhesive Methods." Guild of Book Workers Journal 41(1) 7-11.

Other Stuff[edit source]

There are some great illustrations here: https://travelingscriptorium.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/binding-booklet-2015.pdf

Added --Cmagee (talk) 09:36, 11 June 2020 (CDT)

I would like to see definitions and photographs of: Dutch hollow back vellum bindings (as described in Pugliese, Sylvia. 2001. “Stiff-Board Vellum Binding with Slotted Spine: Survey of a Historical Bookbinding Structure.” Papier Restaurierung – Mitteilungen der IADA (2, Suppl. S.). 93-101.0). --Kkelly (talk) 13:05, 30 April 2018 (CDT)

I would like to see a discussion of the treatment of shrunken parchment bindings. This was discussed in the 2018 AIC Annual talk "Branded by Fire".--Kkelly (talk) 10:51, 27 June 2018 (CDT)

Add discussion of using foamed cleaners for cleaning BPG Parchment Bookbinding or Leather, See recipe in this book: https://www.scribd.com/doc/219416439/PB-Hallebeek-Guidelines-for-the-Conservation-of-Leather-and-Parchment-Book-Bindings. Add a caution about avoiding Triton X, link to Sustainable Solvent Use for explanation.--Kkelly (talk) 08:51, 17 March 2020 (CDT)

Here is a reference for manuscript waste being used for binding material:--Kkelly (talk) 09:20, 14 April 2020 (CDT)

Paterson, Dan. 2018. "Treatment of Two Vellum Manuscript Waste Bindings and a Survey of Similar Bindings in American Research Libraries." In Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 16. Edited by M. J. Driscoll, 449-465. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen.
Added --Cmagee (talk) 09:36, 11 June 2020 (CDT)

The "cut bindings" are also called "pierced vellum". Jim Reid-Cunningham has done some work on this topic.--Kkelly (talk) 09:20, 14 April 2020 (CDT)

Added --Cmagee (talk) 09:36, 11 June 2020 (CDT)