Making a blank book can be a lot of fun and it’s fairly easy to do if you have the right equipment. A blank book can be almost any size, shape and color that you want it to be. It can be used as a sketchbook, diary, photo album or just about anything you can think of. The type of book I am making is called a quarter binding because approximately one quarter of the cover is cloth while the rest of the cover is paper.
One of the best parts of the formation of our joint lab was the addition of a full time conservator. The University of Cincinnati lab had been performing a variety of conservation repairs or mends on general collection items for years. Tip-ins, tears, tape removal, sewing and spine repairs were all familiar types of mending to those of us who had been working in the existing UC lab. But when our joint lab began and our new conservator, Kathy Lechuga, started we quickly began to see that not all our repairs or mends were up to par. Kathy had a vast knowledge of conservation, including best practices that were more up-to-date. Even straight forward repairs like spine repairs (or re-backs) that haven’t changed much in the last 30 years needed some minor tweaking. But one repair stuck out as needing a major update, a paper hinge repair we had been doing for years and years.