Book consolidation is part of a rolling programme of conservation projects for the Collections Care team. When Harewood closed to the public at the end of October, the thousands of books in the three libraries were a primary focus for conservation and care. For three weeks each morning, we collected books from the Spanish Library, making sure to note what shelf they were from. Then each book was lightly dusted off using a shaving brush (as these are curved just like the outside edges of a book) into a hoover covered with gauze. Any books that had corners that were delaminating were then placed on a book support, to take pressure off the spine and binding.
They were then glued using Rex Prepared Paste before being held together with a silicone coated paper (which doesn’t stick to the prepared paste), cardboard squares and a clamp overnight, to ensure that they dried straight. The glue was also used to consolidate any leather that was starting to delaminate. Once they had dried any books with leather bindings were polished using Marney’s Conservation Leather Dressing, before their conservation entry was updated on our database and returned to their correct shelf.
With over 11,000 books on the State Floor, you can see why their consolidation has to be carried out as a rolling programme!
You can read more about the Spanish Library.
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