MA Conservation Studies: Books and Library Materials student Maria Borg, alongside her colleague Nayla Maaruf, worked on the conservation of a Cartes-de-Visite Victorian photo album. Find out more about the project in this blog post.
Book conservators are often faced with the challenge of working
with unfamiliar, idiosyncratic, and complex books. In such cases
making a model of a binding can be of great benefit and insight
into previous binding practices. This is especially true when
presented with a book found in a fragmented state.
Among the various nineteenth century case bindings that rest on
the shelves in the West Dean Books department awaiting treatment
was one that was different to the rest. It was particularly
appealing as its binding was completely covered in
pressure-sensitive adhesive tape and it was therefore an
interesting challenge to take on for a beginning book conservation
In book conservation we often have to face situation where the
handling, opening and consultation of a book could cause
irreversible damage. We have to find solutions to both protect the
book as an historical object and to restore its usability as a
repository of knowledge.
West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the
support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver
world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and
maintain our award-winning gardens.