Book conservation and repair workshop: intermediate and higher

Course Dates: 13/01/21 - 31/03/21
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street

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.

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


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 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?

Book conservation and repair
- VD247 Book conservation and repair workshop: intermediate and higher
- VD204 Book conservation: vellum books
Bookbinding special interest courses
- VD276 Boxes for prints
- VD338 Paper marbling
- VD360 Bookbinding weekend: endband extravaganza
- VD416 Gold tooling on a paper-covered book
- VD316 Wooden boarded binding or VD434 Bradel binding. Your tutor will be able to advise you during this course.


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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Don't be intimidated if you don't have much experience - you can work at your own level with expert help.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 18/03/2020)
Tutor Biographies
Gavin Moorhead

Gavin Moorhead is a professional book conservator and conservation teacher. He is a Design graduate from RMIT and worked as a Graphic Designer before changing direction to take up a career in Conservation. Gavin says he became dissatisfied with consumerist creativity after becoming enlightened by conservation. Combining new aspiration with his passion for books, he trained in conservation techniques at the State Library of Victoria and went on to work on some of the most iconic items in cultural collections around the world. He came to the UK to pursue further opportunities and now, more than 30 years on, he is a senior conservator and conservation team leader at the British Library Centre for Conservation. In becoming a tutor in book conservation and bookbinding, Gavin sought to articulate the ethics of Conservation and to train students in the fundamental skills. After 10 years teaching at City Lit, he continues to enlighten and nurture aspiring book menders and makers.

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.

Book your place

Course Code: VD246

Please choose a course date 

Wed, eve, 13 Jan - 31 Mar '21

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Full fee: £349.00
Senior fee: £349.00
Concession: £213.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.