Book conservation and repair workshop: intermediate and advanced

Course Dates: 23/01/19 - 03/04/19
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Gavin Moorhead

Ideal if you have some bookbinding conservation experience and want to develop your skills further by working on your own projects with advice and guidance. Each term will include demonstrations that focus on a different aspect of book conservation.

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Book conservation and repair workshop: intermediate and advanced


What is the course about?

This is one of three short courses which teach conservation methods for paper (VD245), cloth (VD246) and leather bound books (VD247). These courses are aimed at learners with some basic experience in bookbinding or book conservation and will comprise instruction on a range of conservation techniques including archival housing for bindings. The courses cover both the theory and practice of book conservation and students will, through practical exercise, gain the skills and experience to be able to conserve and repair their own items. Students are expected to provide their own books on which to work.

What students liked most about this course run in 2015/16:

"The number of varied projects covered by participants during the course was great. Also the mix and match of newcomers like me with experienced practitioners made for a great atmosphere."


What will we cover?

• Cloth-bound book styles
• The characteristics of cloth degradation
• Conservation techniques for cloth-bound books
• In-situ book repairs
• Repair of text-blocks and bindings using Japanese and Western papers
• Sewing and re-casing/binding options
• Making an archive slipcase housing.

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

• Identify variations in cloth-bound book styles
• Recognise typical characteristics of cloth degradation
• Explain a practical conservation approach appropriate for the type of damage to a book
• Use learned skills to restore cloth covered boards and damaged pages.
• Conserve a cloth-bound book with a variety of materials including bookcloth, Japanese tissue and Western paper.
• Construct a simple archive slip case.

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

This is an intermediate course for individuals wishing to expand and develop their book conservation skills. Some previous bookbinding and book conservation experience is required. This means a basic knowledge of book structures, binding styles, how book materials deteriorate; damage characteristics, and repair options. You should be familiar with the terminology used, and have a reasonable level of confidence and dexterity in handling materials and tools.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and
safety information. You will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers, do
simple measurements and make calculations.

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

Weekly topics follow the linear aspects of book conservation, from damage assessment through various treatment options to completion of work. Each student will work on their own items. There will be demonstrations, and one-to-one practical teaching.

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

You should provide a book(s) to work on, and have this/these available at the beginning of the course. The bindery is equipped with most of the specialist tools, but you will be expected to use your own hand tools and come equipped with a range of tools including:

• knives (scalpel, utility or craft and leather paring) and spare blades
• brushes in a range of sizes
Page 1 of 2

• a steel rule or straight edge with measured increments
• pair of dividers
• pair of tweezers
• large and small bone folders.
• craft scissors or shears of reasonable quality

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?

VD247 follows on from VD246. You may also be interested in VD204 Book conservation: vellum books or wish to expand your knowledge beyond conservation classes in bookbinding on a course such as VD316 Wooden boarded binding or VD434 Bradel binding. Your tutor will be able to advise you during this course.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 1 item(s)

Write a review
Everything about the course is ideal for me; I am able to work on my own projects at my own pace using the good facilities and resources here. The tutor provides sound advice and expert assistance when I need it, as well as very good demonstrations of various techniques.
Course Rating
Review by NA / (Posted on 20/04/2015)

Book your place

Course Code: VD246

Please choose a course date 

Wed, eve, 23 Jan - 03 Apr '19

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £339.00
Senior fee: £339.00
Concession: £207.00
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Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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or call 020 7492 2700/2703

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Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.