Book conservation and repair workshop: intermediate and higher

Course Dates: 25/09/19 - 11/12/19
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
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.


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?

- Paper bound book styles
- Degradation characteristics of paper
- Approaches to conservation techniques and de-acidification
- In-situ book repairs
- Repair of text-blocks and bindings using Japanese paper
- Sewing and re-casing/binding options
- Making an archival flapcase housing.

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

- Identify physical characteristics of paper bound books
- Recognize two main features of paper degradation
- Explain a practical conservation approach appropriate for the type of damage to a book
- Use learned skills to restore book covers and damaged pages
- Conserve a paper-bound book in a variety of ways using both Japanese and Western papers.
- Construct a simple archive 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:

Page 1 of 2

- Knives (scalpel, utility or craft and leather paring) and spare blades
- Brushes in a range of sizes
- A steel rule or straight edge with measured increments.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

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

Conservation and repair
-VD246 Book conervation and repair workshop: intermediate and higher
-VD247 Book conervation and repair workshop: intermediate and higher
Specialist and historical styles
-VD412 Gold tooling on paper
-VD316 Wooden boarded binding
-VD434 Bradel binding
-VD357 Limp Vellum binding.

Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

This course has now started

Course Code: VD245

Please choose another course date

Started Wed, eve, 25 Sep - 11 Dec '19

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

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

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.