Book conservation for beginners I

Course Dates: 23/09/21 - 09/12/21
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Understand the structure, collating and pulling of a book. Practise paper cleaning and repair. Learn how to re-sew a text-block, mend damaged corners and re-hinge boards.
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
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In stock
Only 4 left
Full fee £349.00 Senior fee £279.00 Concession £213.00

Course Code: VD324

Thu, eve, 23 Sep - 09 Dec '21

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

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What is the course about?

This is an introductory course covering the basic structure of the book. Conservation terminology and principles will be explained and applied to the repair of individual items. This course focuses on the repair of paper and cloth covered bindings.

What will we cover?

The course will cover the initial assessment and repair of a bound text. The cleaning and repair of paper, sewing of text-blocks, and mending and attachment of boards will also be covered.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Use appropriate conservation terminology
- Dry clean paper
- Tone paper and cloth
- Undertake simple paper repairs
- Re-sew a text block
- Re-attach boards.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You are not required to have any previous experience in book repair and conservation work but some experience in bookbinding would be advantageous. You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Group tuition and demonstration, and individual attention as required. Some handouts will be provided, but you will be expected to keep and use your own working notes.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You should provide a book to work on, and have this available at the beginning of the course. The bindery is equipped with most tools, but you will be expected to use your own hand-tools. Guidance will be given on the first day as to what is required and appropriate. The class has some materials which may be bought, and you will be given guidance for providing your own.


When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Bookbinding: repair and conservation
- VD325 Book conservation for beginners 2
- VD326 Bookconservation for beginners 3
- VD203 Book conservation and repair: leather bound books
- VD204 Book conservation and repair: vellum bound books
- VD 352 Conservation and repair for beginners II
- VD 353 Bookbinding: conservation and repair III
Specialist courses
VD388 Paper marbling
VD360 Bookbinding weekend: endband extravaganza.

Ann-Marie Miller

Ann-Marie Miller is an accredited book and archives conservator based in London, and has run a private workshop, Codex Conservation, for the last 9 years. Her passion for heritage began after studying the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. After studying Chemistry and Bookbinding she attained a post-graduate diploma and MA in conservation at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts, London. After graduating she worked freelance as a bookbinder and conservator in both the public and private sectors. Whilst working for 7 years at the British Library, she achieved accredited status in 2007. With her small team at Codex Conservation, she works for a broad range of institutional clients and private collectors from national museums and academic libraries to corporate archives. She also provides teaching, supports digitisation programmes and provides collection care advice. Website:

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.