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San Gemini Preservation Studies 2019
Introduction to Preservation and Preventive Conservation of Books
Session 1 (May 27– June 21) 4 weeks
Course #: SG204B preliminary syllabus

Instructor Prof. Marco Di Bella

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course gives a theoretical overview of the field of book preventive conservation and restoration of books and archival material along with some practical experience in non-invasive preventive conservation.  Covers historical intrusive restoration. Students describe and assess conservation conditions of archival material from the Terni Diocese Archives and implement non-intrusive preventive conservation measures on original material in the Archives (dry cleaning, re-shelving, box making).

No prerequisites required.

Student Learning Outcomes: Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Handle correctly books and archival documents, using book cradles and supports
  • Analyze storage condition and be able to suggest improvements
  • Describe and identify the deterioration process of book bindings and contributing factors
  • Prepare documentation records for conservation assessment
  • Perform dry cleaning
  • Make archivally safe storage boxes and protections

SUMMARY OF LECTURE CONTENT:

Deterioration processes of organic materials in bindings
• External factors:

Temperature
Humidity
Light
Mechanical damage (handling, wear and tear)

• Internal factors:

Natural deterioration process of organic materials
Chemical interaction between materials

Conservation techniques
• Proposing different treatment options and estimating times
• “Fit for purpose”, different approaches to conservation treatments related to different contexts
• Documentation record and what to record (data sheets/images before, during and after conservation)
• In situ repairs
• Full conservation treatment of bound item (hypothetical full treatment)

1. Dry cleaning
2. Checking foliation
3. Dismantling
4. Washing
5. Deacidification
6. Re-sizing
7. Re-constitution of the book block
8. Sewing (preparation of the sewing material and sewing frame)
9. New spine lining
10. New end bands like originals
11. Treatment of the cover
12. Re-application of original cover

Prevention and Minimal Conservation Methods
• Biocides and decontamination
• Deacidification
• Climate control

Temperature
Humidity
Light

• Shelving, flat file drawers and other storage units
• Storage Containers

Drop back spine box
Phase box
Book shoe
Four flap folder

• Housing of fragments and mounting of single sheets
• Option on how to treat pamphlet, single sheet collections and miscellaneous

• Handling procedures for rare and delicate books
• Digitization and how to minimize risk from handling documents:

Minimizing damage during photographic processes
State of the art digitization,
Affordable alternatives

AFTERNOON WORKSHOP:

Analyzing and documenting book bindings (working with books from the local archives)
• Features to document
• State of conservation
• Data sheets
• Photographic documentation
Prevention and Minimal Conservation Methods
• Biocides and decontamination
• Deacidifiaction
• Climate control

Temperature
Humidity
Light

• Shelving, flat file drawers and other storage units
• Storage Containers
• Box making:

Drop back spine box
Phase box
Book shoe
Four flap folder

• Housing of fragments and mounting of single sheets

Digitization of archival material

Participate in process of photographing archival material from the San Gemini Historic Archives, as part of the San Gemini Archives Digitization Project.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

To give students an overview of the field of conservation and restoration of books and archival material along with some practical experience in non-invasive preventive conservation.

The program is aimed at two types of students: those planning to become book conservators, and people that in various ways will be managing book or archival resources. For those planning for a career as book conservators, this is a good introduction to the field that will require further education. For those planning to manage book collections or archives, it will offer skills in analyzing the nature of bound material, understanding the state of conservation, best practices in handling, storage and conservation.

Students of the following subjects can find this program useful: Bookbinding, book conservation and restoration, library science, library management, archival sciences, management of rare book collections, book design, anthropology and history of technology.

COURSE STRUCTURE: Morning Work in the Terni Dioceses Archives: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM; Afternoon: Lectures and Workshop 3:00-7:00 PM

READINGS:
Reading list supplied with acceptance to the program.

DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENTS:

  • Term paper #1: 8- page paper on a topic to be assigned
  • Term paper #2: 8- page paper on a topic to be assigned (graduate students only)
  • Final exam: mixed format – quiz and essay questions

Grade Breakdown:

Term paper(s)                                                  35%

Final Exam                                                      35%

Archival storage-making and work                30%

Contact Hours

Lectures: 40

Workshops: 40

Grading scale:

94-100 = A

90-93 = A-

87-89 = B+

84-86 = B

80-83 = B-

77-79 = C+

74-76 = C

70-73 = C-

67-69 = D+

64-66 = D

60-63 = D-

Below 60 = F

Galleries: Bookbinding workshop Photo 

 

San Gemini Preservation Studies
International Institute for Restoration and Preservation Studies
www.sangeministudies.org

203 Seventh Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
tel. 718 768 3508