Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

Book binding

Before conservation

A full leather-bound 18th century manuscript volume which has suffered damp damage in the past with the leather lost across the spine and the lower part of board. The boards themselves are loose and there is some damage to the paper text block along the spine.


Volume in 2 parts

The volume is taken apart by cutting the sewing threads

Volume being resown

After any necessary paper repair work to the text block is done, it is resewn in the original manner on 5 cords using a traditional sewing frame..


Spine in press

The spine of the sewn text block is glued with a traditional bookbinding glue and then held in a press and worked with a hammer to achieve the necessary rounded spine shape which helps the book open properly.


New boards and leather

With new boards attached and end bands sewn to support the spine at head and tail, new leather is pasted to cover the boards.


Finished volume

Completed volume with its original gold-tooled leather label reused.