Binding & Repair

Personal Items

The Preservation Unit offers an in-house binding and repair service to the community.

  • Deacidification – we use Bookkeeper® Deacidification Spray to impart a magnesium oxide buffer into paper, effectively neutralizing acids and leaving an alkaline reserve.
  • Encapsulation – safer than lamination, encapsulation holds a document between two sheets of inert polyester by sealing the plastic together only at the edges so that the item is easily removed, if needed, by cutting open the welded edges. 
    $1.00/ft2 of Melinex
  • Torn Pages – Preservation uses a variety a methods, including document repair tape, heat set tissue, and Japanese tissue, to mend tears in paper materials.
    $0.50/tear for Japanese tissue
  • Spine repair – If a book still has strong endpapers and the cover is primarily in good condition but the spine covering has detached, we can replace the spine with new cloth.  When possible, we will reuse remnants from the original covering materials over the new materials.
  • Reback – When a book needs repair but the front and back covers are still in good condition, we can replace the spine cloth and endpapers while reusing the original front and back boards.
  • Repair sewing – If the sewing structure of a book is damaged or broken, we can repair this using linen thread.  This will add a minimum of $5 to the cost of the repair and may cost more, depending on the extent of resewing required.
  • Recase – We can create a new cover for books, using the original text block but giving new covers, new endpapers, and new lining materials.  When possible, we will reuse elements from the original binding overlaid on the new binding.
  • DFA recase – If a book needs a new cover, there is no original sewing structure, and the text block is separated into multiple pieces, we can consolidate the spine using a Double Fan Adhesive (DFA) binding and then build a new cover for the item.
  • Dissertation Binding – this is a DFA Recase.  If you wish to have any information printed on the cover (typically dissertation title, author’s name, and date), there is a fee for typesetting and for each impression.
    $25  base fee
    $0.10 per letter/number/space/punctuation
    $1.00 for each impression

It is not always desirable or possible to repair items.  We can, however, offer some protection from light, pollutants, and sudden changes in temperature and humidity by creating custom housing for materials.

  • Phasebox – a serviceable box made from blue-grey barrier board that folds around the book and closes with a Velcro coin.
  • Clamshell case – also sometimes referred to as a presentation case, these boxes are constructed using the same board we use in bookbinding.  It is a more elegant alternative to the phasebox.
  • Clamshell case with shelf and drawer – For books that need to be housed with other materials, we can create a special drawer that sits under the book in the clamshell case.