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Book Conservation Catalog Wiki

Welcome to the Book Conservation Wiki, compiled by members of the AIC Book and Paper Specialty Group. Its primary purpose is to become a practical guide to techniques, treatments, materials and technologies which are currently being used by book conservators. It will reflect the exciting variety of approaches people are taking-- so if you're a practicing book conservator, this is the place to talk about the particulars of the profession. The page is maintained by BPG Publications Committee Wiki Coordinator for Books, Evan Knight.

Content published in the Book Conservation Wiki does not constitute an endorsement or approval of the procedure described. It is not designed to substitute for the consultation of a trained book conservator. If you are considering repairing a book, it is recommended in the strongest terms to seek out a professional conservator, preferably a Fellow or Professional Associate of AIC, as there are large risks associated with attempting to perform repairs yourself. Often times it leads to more complicated, expensive, and time-consuming problems down the road. To find a conservator, please visit AIC's Find A Conservator page.

Book Conservation Tips, Cases, and Research[edit source]

This list includes all the articles currently published on the Book Conservation Wiki. BPG Wiki editors are welcome to add their research to the top of this list.

Topics in Book Preservation[edit source]

- Corrugated clamshell box by Sue Donovan,

- Phase box variations by Sussan Russick and Stephanie Gowler,

- Drop-spine boxes by Lou DiGennaro and Katherine Kelly, and

- Drop-spine boxes with interior cradles by Katherine Kelly and Sarah Reidell.

Describing Book Objects and Conservation Treatments[edit source]

Book Conservators uses many sources to describe the book objects they work on, and to describe the details of their treatments. Some helpful reference sources are ABC for Bookbinders, Etherington and Roberts, Middleton, Szirmai, ABC for Book Collectors, and many more. Yet among these sources there are often incongruous overlaps, gaps, or slightly conflicting information.

"Language of Bindings Thesaurus"[edit source]

In 2015, the Ligatus Research Centre led by Dr. Nicolas Pickwoad published Language of Bindings Thesaurus (LoB) which presents precise terminology in a somewhat flexible framework to better describe book objects. Many of these terms are also linked to topics in the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (and here). The BPG Wiki will attempt to follow the terms and framework of the Language of Bindings Thesaurus in order to have a clear foundation that conservators can refer to in their discussions of treatments.

The terminology and framework of BPG Book Conservation Wiki will follow the LoB as much as possible. (The LoB database is made available under the ODC Attribution License.) One of the basic principles of the LoB seems to be that the best way to describe book objects is describe their component characteristics in specific detail. In fact, taking a step back, there does not even seem to be a generic definition of "book" in the LoB. This oversight is probably intentional, and reflective of the disinterest many conservators have for the cliched rhetorical question of "what is a book?" With nearly infinite variations of style, structure, technique, and provenance for book objects, some generic descriptors like "Publisher's Binding" or "Book" really do not adequately describe what is being observed, and thus may not serve great purposes.

Where to Start[edit source]

The broadest, "highest-level" terms that are defined seem to be bookblocks and their bindings, so they are presented here as foundations from which to go forward to build a professional dialogue according to accepted vocabularies and definitions.

  • Bindings are described as "the structures and, if present, the covers used to hold together and protect the leaves of a bookblock and which allow them to be opened at the fore-edge."
  • Bookblocks are "all the leaves bound together in a single volume and enclosed within a single binding. The word textblock describes all the printed or written leaves whether they are bound or not, and can be used to differentiate the written or printed leaves from the endleaves within a bookblock where this is necessary."

Expansions on the BPG Wiki of any book component introduced on the Language of Bindings Thesaurus, from bookmarks to sewing thread and everything in-between and beyond, are most welcome. Also welcome would be BPG Wiki contributors who would like to update existing pages with links to these terms and concepts.

updated comment from evan: As of 12/17/2015, I can't access any pages from the Language of Bindings or the Ligatus Research Centre. This is one day after after I set all the links up. So I'm not sure if their site is down, or if the increased links and traffic freaked them out, or they're trying to sell or license the thesaurus, or what, but for me, this arbitrary shutting of access casts the most serious doubt on whether or not it is right standard vocabulary to use.

December 2015 Book Conservation Home Page Comments[edit source]

This section created for adding comments and edits.

kkelly[edit source]

Overall: Hurrah! This is a big step forward for the BCC and I salute you.

Organization vs. Dynamic Presentation of Content:
I like the idea of removing the outline format from the main page, and I agree that your presentation feels more dynamic. It is much better at leading the reader to real content, rather than wished-for content. It puts contributors' names front and center, which helps increase the sense that we are a community of editors that any BPG member can join. As you also mention, this format is better at encouraging a variety of contribution styles. I do think, however, that having an underlying structure is helpful for organizing our thoughts about the growth of the BCC. How would you feel about adding the BCC portal to the bottom of the page? It essentially shows the structure without looking too rigid, and it provides a nice navigational continuity across all BCC pages.

Consistency of Titles:
How about calling it the "Book Conservation Wiki"? We inconsistently use Book Conservation Catalog, Book Conservation Wiki, or Book Conservation Catalog Wiki. I prefer the simplest. The AIC Wiki overall is very inconsistent on this point, too... For someone who's worked on bibliographies and citation style related to the wiki, it's annoying to not know for certain what the thing is called. evan comments in bold: There has been some commitment to "BPG Wiki" that I like and I've actively refrained from using the word "Catalog." I like Book Conservation Wiki.

Visual Appeal:
I think that images and other non-text things really help make the page more interesting, and so I would recommend including some images and the AIC BPG logo (as they are on the current BCC page). If you felt like it was too much header information, the images could be right-justified boxes sprinkled through the text. good points. for now, i'm keeping it clean :)

I like that you set a standard source for vocabulary (although currently both Language of Bindings links redirect someplace useless) i'll look again and fix what is broken. LoB asks people who use the content to link to the attribution license, which may be one of the links what you found. updated comment from evan: As of 12/17/2015, I can't access any pages from the Ligatus Research Centre. This is one day after after I set all the links up. So I'm not sure if their site is down, or if the increased links and traffic freaked them out, or they're trying to sell or license the thesaurus, or what, but for me, this arbitrary shutting of access casts the most serious doubt on whether or not it is right standard vocabulary to use.but you seem to veer a little into the weeds when you get into discussing how LoB falls short. I actually don't think it falls too short so what I wrote must have been confusing. Sorry. But i was trying to explain why there is no definition for "book." Perhaps this belongs on another page?

It would also be a good idea to mention/use the AIC Wiki Lexicon. I know it's not perfect and I think it would be silly to build out yet another thesaurus for our field, but we are part of the AIC wiki and you have to dance with the one who brung ya. Perhaps we could say something along the lines of, "When the editors of the Book Conservation Wiki feel the need to develop a term beyond the definition in the LoB, we can use the AIC Wiki Lexicon (for example Lexicon term: Scrapbook). On a related note, I would suggest moving your terms for Bindings, Bookblocks, etc. to the Lexicon. sounds good i think. there are at least a few lexicon/thesaurus/dictionary compilations out there so I'm of two minds... stick with one, or try to unify/link them all. I'm not sure which would be best -- probably linking all of them-- but in either case, let's link to existing definitions where we can rather re-creating pages for them.

I can see from your table of contents that the section on "Where to Start" is a under the "Describing Book Objects" header, but it is a flaw of our wiki design that that hierarchy is not clear from the indentation/size of text. As a reader, I thought I would learn about "Where to Start Using the BCC". Maybe clarify the title (or move the terminology talk to another page)?

Some Minor Points:
Your name could link to your user profile. i think it will go live when the code is moved away from my user page Your Find a Conservator link is dead. thanks! updated You might want to find a way to direct potential contributors back to the BPG Contributors Toolbox where you cover that topic in depth. good point. i hope at least for breadcrumbs back to the BPG Wiki Home Page. Think there is ample room for better integration with BPG Wiki pages like the Toolbox, Materials, etc.

Back to Paper Conservation Wiki Main Back to Book Conservation Wiki Main Back to Book & Paper GroupBack to Book & Paper Group Housings page
The Book Conservation Catalog and the Paper Conservation Catalog are publications of the Book and Paper Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. They are published as a convenience for the members of the Book and Paper Group. Publication does not endorse nor recommend any treatments, methods, or techniques described herein.

Welcome to the BPG Portal for the Paper and Book Conservation Catalogs. This section was developed to help users find information and to clarify how interested BPG members can get more involved in and contribute to the Wiki. Instead of "Why Am I Here?" which could be both too philosophical and quizzical, consider splitting this whole section into "How You Can Contribute" then "Adding an Entry (directly or indirectly)" as used elsewhere on wiki? Introduction (or Welcome), Search, and Get Involved?--Sreidell (talk) 13:32, 25 August 2014 (CDT)

  • What are you looking for on the BPG Wiki?
"To find information on conservation materials." Go to Search page.
"To find information on conservation treatment variations." Go to Search page.
Could it be instead even clearer like "If you want to ..." and then it goes to "find something", "edit something on the Wiki", "submit a picture", "submit text", "start a new group" "suggest a new topic", etc? --Sreidell (talk) 15:40, 20 August 2014 (CDT)

What about like this? --Smorgan (talk) 16:05, 21 August 2014 (CDT)

Exactly. I made a listing on my talk page just like this Also add a "go to the "Help Wanted" page"? --Sreidell (talk) 10:53, 22 August 2014 (CDT)

New code inserted by User:Smorgan as example for User:Sreidell follows:

====If you want to find information about =====Treatment variations

  • *List of variations, hopefully via categories...

=====Conservation materials

  • *List of materials, hopefully via categories...

====Edit something on the Wiki Guidelines for editing goes here...etc

====Submit a picture

====Submit text

====Start a new group

====Suggest a new topic

The above pathfinders could be done better with categories rather than just telling people to use the search page. You can use a category like "Book and Paper Materials" or "Conservation Materials: BPG", "Conservation Treatment: BPG". (see my latest note) Then you can link to the category page like so: [[:Category:Name]], and write it up like a regular page. If you also tag those page with the more generic existing categories of Category:Flattening, Category:Loss, Category:Book & Paper, etc. that's good too because it will make it easier for people to find things of that nature. This is better UX design than just telling people to go to the search page, which isn't always good at finding things. Mediawiki's search functionality is not the greatest, BTW. --Smorgan (talk) 10:38, 20 August 2014 (CDT)
I'm only slightly familiar with categories but the idea seems good. Would it be hard to make something like that? I imagine one would need to tag every instance of treatment variations which might be a good ongoing project.... and if so, we can list it in the "Ongoing Projects/Help Wanted section below ... what do you think? --Ev-knight (talk) 11:22, 20 August 2014 (CDT)
I'm currently working on a categories committee/taskforce/whatever to develop a list of site-wide categories to use. Right now there are big categories for Category:Damage, Category:Technique, and each of the specialty groups (BPG's is Category:Book & Paper. The Category:Damage and Category:Technique categories already have sub-categories, which already existed before my time - I just updated them from an archaic naming convention into a more simplistic one. I'm investigating if you can automatically generate a list of pages that contain both "x" and "y" category. I believe this extension could let us do that, if we can get someone to install it. In the event that that's not possible, you can still assign however many categories you want to each page. I.e. for the page on Alkalinization, you can assign it Category:Alkalization and Neutralization for the site-wide functionality/searchability, but ALSO potentially something specific like Category:Treatment Variables BPG. Editing category pages is just like editing any other page, you can add headers, sections, links, pictures, etc. The beauty of category pages it they automatically update whenever a new page is tagged with that particular category. So you don't have to manually maintain a list. --Smorgan (talk) 11:45, 20 August 2014 (CDT)
For now, I recommend holding off on creating BPG specific categories - I've asked Rachael if we can install the DynamicPageList extension, which would totally eliminate the need for BPG specific categories. If you want an example of what we could do, see this page on my own wiki. Each of those three lists in the top half of the page are automatically generated via DynamicPageList. --Smorgan (talk) 13:53, 20 August 2014 (CDT)
Let me know what Rachael says and then if we can get it going, let me know and I'd like to take a look about the details of how to use the extension. For now I'll expand the section as best we can. NB that this page is the mock-up of what will be ported over on Sept 1, so our discussion in-context here will be put up on my User Discussion Page when I feel like they're resolved. --Ev-knight (talk) 16:54, 20 August 2014 (CDT)
"To add a particular treatment tip." Send an email to the BPG-Wiki Coordinators and the AIC-Wiki listserv. They will be able to answer every Wiki-related question you have.
"To help out with editing, formatting, or organization of pages currently in revision." See what's currently in revision, and contact people [WHO?] to get involved.
"I'm not sure, but I'm a practicing conservator and would like to get involved with information-sharing on the BPG Wiki." Well, welcome to the

&c., &c., &c.

=Book and Paper Specialty Group Resources ==Style Guide The BPG wiki follows the general AIC Wiki Style Guide, in terms of text formatting, link creation, and reference citing. This is especially important when creating links and lists of references - please use the JAIC style, and refer to this part of the Style Guide for additional information. In addition, there are a few BPG specific style rules that should be followed.

==New page titles When creating new pages, please first check to make sure there isn't already a page that fits your need. If there isn't, name your page in a simple but informative fashion; please do not put "BPG", "Book and Paper", or "Chapter 1" type of language in the title itself. This information can be placed into the body of the page, with headers and the use of categories.

Pages can be renamed by using the "Move" function, and redirects created for any links going to the old page name.

==Naming and formatting pictures Photos (.jpg, .gif, .pdf, and others) can be uploaded by clicking on the "Upload file" link at the bottom of the left-hand navigation of each page. It's best if the image is edited, cropped, and compressed to a manageable byte-size (let's try under ~ 5MB per image) before uploading. The dimensions of the image can be adjusted before uploading too, but it is not entirely necessary because most times it will still be necessary to tweak the size to make it look ok in the page.

To insert a photo as-is is not recommended because there are no limits for the dimensions and no abilities to add captions. But to do so, use double brackets (as if you are making an internal link) like this: [[File:Woodboard60.3.jpg]] It will look like this:

For the aforementioned reasons, it's highly recommended to adjust the image to thumbnail size. You can do this with the following code, which will size the image for you, let you align it on the right or left, and allow you to insert a caption. (And clicking on the thumbnail will bring the user to the full image.) [[File:Woodboard60.3.jpg|thumb|right|Wood board, supports laced-in but not trimmed]]

Wood board, supports laced-in but not trimmed

Keep in mind that there are quite a lot of variations of code that can be successfully used to insert images. For example to adjust the displayed size of an image, add a pipe ( | ) after the file name and specify the pixel width you desire (the aspect ratio will remain constant, i.e., the height will remain in proportion), such as [[File:Woodboard60.3.jpg|125px]] Woodboard60.3.jpg

A final note, apropos to the display of sample images here. References to images usually require some tweaking of their code to look good. It is recommended to use an existing code first, like the "thumb" provided above, and then add complexity when you have a strong familiarity with the MediaWiki software.

==Using Categories

  • Categories help users find related pages, by creating a sort of "index" to the wiki that, when used correctly, can be more effective for finding information than using the search function of the site. Pages can be tagged with an unlimited number of categories. Please note that category names are case sensitive, but you can easily add categories to pages by using the Link-creator button (which looks like a chain) in the editing panel. Just search for "Category:" and the first letter of the category you want to add, and you should be able to pick it from the list of available categories.
  • Please tag all Book and Paper Group wiki pages with the following category: [[Category:Book & Paper]]. The category should be placed at the top of the page.
  • Whenever possible, please also tag pages with additional categories. The following categories could be useful for Book and Paper Group related pages:
    • [[Category:Damage]]
    • [[Category:Documentation]]
    • [[Category:Drying]]
    • [[Category:Emergency Response and Recovery]]
    • [[Category:Filling of Losses‏‎]]
    • [[Category:Flattening]]
    • [[Category:Housing]]
    • [[Category:Humidification]]
    • [[Category:Mending]]
    • [[Category:Mold/Fungi]]
    • [[Category:Preventive]]
    • [[Category:Paper]]
    • [[Category:Surface Cleaning]]
    • [[Category:Tape Removal]]
    • [[Category:Testing]]
    • [[Category:Water Damage]]

==Templates ===Disclaimers To insert a header that contains a copyright notice and lets readers know that the page is part of the Book and Paper Group wiki, you can use the Copyright disclaimer header by inserting {{BCC-PCC-copyright}} at the top of the page. The header looks like this: Template:BCC-PCC-copyright

===Progress/Status Banners

  • For works still in progress, use the In Progress template by writing {{In Progress}} at the top of the page, which looks like this:
This entry is in the process of being corrected
  • For works in their "first draft" state, use the Draft template by writing {{IN PROGRESS DRAFT}} at the top of the page, which looks like this:

===Navigation Boxes


Book and Paper Group
Paper Conservation Catalog
Examination and Documentation

·Fiber Identification ·Written Documentation ·Visual Examination ·Spot Tests

Problems and Issues

·Media Problems ·Support Problems ·Foxing ·Mold ·Parchment

Conservation Treatment

·Surface Cleaning ·Hinge, Tape and Adhesive Removal ·Washing ·Sizing & Resizing ·Bleaching ·Alkalization and Neutralization ·Humidification ·Consolidation/Fixing/Facing ·Backing Removal ·Mending ·Filling of Losses ·Drying and Flattening ·Lining ·Inpainting ·Adhesives ·Matting and Framing ·Annual Meeting Tips Sessions (various topics)

Polyester Encapsulation is a method of stabilizing paper-based objects by sandwiching an object between slightly larger inert films of polyester and sealing the edges together. In this method, the object is not directly altered in any way, unlike lamination. The encapsulation material, and the methods to seal edges, vary by equipment and desired treatment outcomes. The method is an innovative storage option, particularly for fragile paper materials and oversize objects, and does not need to be replaced or removed for viewing. However, it is not an universally appropriate treatment, particularly for objects with friable media.

Contributors: Rachel Freeman, Katherine Kelly, Evan Knight, Cher Schneider, please add your name

Photo Gallery[edit source]

Polyweld.JPGMapInBookInMylar.JPGUltrasonic Welder.JPGEncapsulated Poster.JPGLarge Encapsulated Poster.JPGPolyester Roll.JPG

Purpose[edit source]

The goal of this chapter of the Book and Paper Conservation Catalogs (BCC and PCC) is to share information, comments, and experiences about methods of polyester encapsulation.

This chapter was created in April 2014 within the AIC conservation wiki as a place to record and share the collective knowledge of the Book and Paper Group on the topic on polyester encapsulation.

==Factors to Consider

There are a number of Factors to Consider prior to deciding to encapsulate an item. Treatment Context must be balanced with the manufacture and condition of the object itself (Object Characteristics), and the available resources (Materials and Equipment). Specific treatment applications may be altered or combined. Readers are encouraged to perform their own evaluation and research before putting to use any of the treatment recommendations and suggestions included in this chapter.

===Treatment Context

A. Value of Object
1. Intellectual
2. Historic
3. Aesthetic
B. Use and Handling
1. Frequency
2. Exhibition

===Object Characteristics

A. Primary Support
1. Material
a. Paper
b. Parchment
c. Other materials which benefit from the added support and protection of encapsulation, such as palm leaf or papyrus
B. Non-Friable Media
1 Printed
2. Manuscript
3. Photograph
C. Weight and Size of Object
D. Condition of Object
Condition of object affects choice to encapsulate or choice of method.
1. Deacidify prior to encapsulation? Or include an alkaline buffer sheet with the encapsulated material?
2. Difficulty of encapsulating non-flat objects.

==Materials and Equipment

===Material for Encapsulation

Mylar roll Talas.jpg
Mylar® (1950s) or Melinex® 516 - Uncoated, translucent films made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a thermoplastic polyester resin. Mylar and Melinex are often used to generically refer to encapsulation films. However, both names are registered trademarks owned by Dupont Tejjin Films. The true generic term for these materials are Polyester Film or Plastic Sheet.
  • Chemically Stable
  • Transparent
  • Adds Tensile Strength
  • Reduces Handling of Original Object
  • Range of Thicknesses. 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm. Selecting the appropriate thickness of polyester for an object is integral for successful treatment.
  • Uniform Structure
  • Resists Mold/Mildew
  • Creates Environmental Barrier
Long-fibered paper can be welded or otherwise sealed to encapsulate paper-based objects.
Hollytex® - HOLLYTEX® is a spunbonded polyester sheet structured from continuous filament polyester fibers. Calendered for high tensile and tear strength.
  • Chemically Stable
  • Chemical Resistant
  • Air Permeable
  • Smooth
  • Not Sticking
  • Range of Thicknesses
  • Resists Mold/Mildew
Stabiltex? (Do people still use for encapsulation?)

===Sealing methods and equipment

A. Ultrasonic Welding
Low-frequency energy pulses through applicator head welds materials together.
Applicator head of ultrasonic welder
Bill Minter's Utrasonic Welding machines are highly effective to seal polyester of various thickness, and some other materials. The energy and speed of the machine can be varied as well. Machines were first produced from the early 1980s (?) and have changed over time. Some models vary by size and other details.
B. Heat
Most heat tools cannot not achieve temperatures high enough to fuse sheets of polyester film together, however the Polyweld Machine
Polyweld machine via ISU Website
can. It has three distinct disadvantages compared with the ultrasonic encapsulator: high heat has risks to objects; it can weld a seam only at the very edge of the film; and it has a rather limited width (60 cm).
D. Double-sided Tape
Pressure-sensitive tape can be used to seal edges, however, there are significant risks to this method as the safety and longevity isn't equal to that of heat or ultrasonic welding. Preservation issues that arise from tape in encapsulation are:
  • Difficult to remove all air from encapsulation
  • Unsightly borders
  • Adhesive creep - Sometimes causing object to adhere to edge of tape and causing further damage
  • Tape encapsulation quickly fails when the adhesive becomes wet
  • Eventual adhesive failure
E. Sewn edges

==Treatment Variations ===Oversize or Rolled Objects ===Partial welds

  • Spot Welding
  • L-sleeves

===Encapsulation for Book Cover Protectors ==Bibliography

Canadian Conservation Institute, Encapsulation CCI-Notes 11/10

Stanley, Ted. Papyrus Storage at Princeton University The Book and Paper Group Annual 13, 1994

Baty, J. & Minter, B. Micro-environments in encapsulation. Paper presented at the AIC Annual, Indianapolis, IN, 2013.

=Special Considerations

Back to Book & Paper Group Housings page
Back to Paper Conservation Wiki Main
Back to Book Conservation Wiki Main

Annotated Bibliography Housings

New Attempt #1::
Book and Paper Group
Book Conservation Wiki
Book components and their conservation Treatments
Text Leaves: Parchment, Paper, Endpapers
Text Block Gathering and Consolidation: Gathering Sections, Spine Consolidation
Boards and Coverings: Types of Boards, Coverings
Book Conservation Tips and Research
Preservation: ·Selection for Preservation ·Exhibition, Supports, Transport ·Imaging and Digitization ·Housings ·Encapsulation


Intern washing Evan 2011abc.jpgEndbandR1.jpgToning.jpgWoodboard60.3.jpg