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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
014. (Book and Paper) 21st Century Loss Compensation for a 19th Century Binding

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Loss compensation and integration of new binding elements is a constant challenge faced by book conservators. Digital print fills for paper conservation can be used for loss compensation in patterned papers and cast composite leathers have gained popularity as a material that can be used to better integrate traditional book repairs with original binding elements. The treatment presented in this poster combines both methods to recreate missing components of a 19th century binding to produce an aesthetically integrated structure that facilitates use by our patrons. Public and Private Economy published in 1836 arrived in the lab with only its front board precariously attached with pressure sensitive tape to the spine of its text block. All other original binding elements were missing. Much of the carrier layer of the tape had previously detached, removing a significant portion of the grain layer of the original leather resulting in a large loss almost the height of the board. The original front board was structurally sound and covered with a uniquely patterned decorative paper that was heavily abraded. It was obvious a new binding needed to be constructed around the remaining front board and conventional loss compensation choices would have created an extremely stark and aesthetically jarring binding. Cast composite leather, a technique developed by Grace Owen and Sarah Reidell at the New York Public Library Goldsmith Conservation Lab , was used to recreate the missing leather components of the binding by applying it to a cotton cloth and kozo fiber paper laminate. Experiments were performed to determine which laminate structures would yield the most flexible rebacking material for this book. The cast composite leather film was also used as a fill material to compensate for the heavily skinned and abraded areas of the original leather remnants. Digital printing has been discussed recently in the field as a method for loss compensation for printed or decorative works of art on paper. In this treatment, a scan was taken of the original board and a digital print was created on a pigment printer to be used as the covering material for the newly constructed back board. The print was further inpainted and toned with acrylic paints and coated with SC6000 to better integrate it both visually and physically with the original binding elements. In the end, these new techniques produced a robust, aesthetically harmonious binding that will produce a pleasing experience for our patrons during use.

Speaker(s)
avatar for Kathy Lechuga, [PA]

Kathy Lechuga, [PA]

Book Conservator, Indiana Historical Society
Kathy Lechuga is currently the Book Conservator at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis and a professional associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. Previously she was the Conservation Lab Manager at the Preservation Lab, a collaborative lab created between the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and the University of Cincinnati. Prior to coming to Cincinnati, Kathy was Assistant Conservator for The University of Notre Dame Libraries where she had previously completed her third year conservation training internship. She earned her... Read More →


Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower

Attendees (60)