RESTAURATION AND CONSERVATION OF LIBRARY FUNDS
In a few words and trying not to bore you with unimportant details, I would like to present to you the shop for the restoration and preservation of the library fund.
We will not make an inventory of the used tools and materials, but we can boast as having"two skilled hands", a little imagination an a few tools which ease our work,and the result, nemely the aspect of the restored material,is satisfactory.
We all know that books, the same as people, grow old and books are tortured, mutilated, killed or saved as by mirecle. We are not refering to the spirit incorporated in books, but the actual body of books, the paper or parchement they were printed on.These sick or aged bodies need care, treatment and even "plastic surgery". Book conservation and restoration workshops have a role similar to that of hospials for people and animals.
Books' restoration and conservation are currently limited, being available onlu inside several state institutions and the libraries are the institutions which have such workshops.
The "clientele" includes prints, documents, letters, maps, posters,etc. In ordere to determine the degree of wear and the necessary repairs to be made, the "client" is first subjected to investigations in a test laboratory. The tests reveal the degree of wear, methods for total or partial recovery or, if necessary for the rescue and recovery operations.
As a result of the process of evaluation and determination of the degree of wear and after all the necessary materials for the restoration operation have been prepared, the actual "treatment" begins for the books and all the other materials. Since we mentioned about books as they are regular clients for our workshop, let us tell about happens after a book has reached such a workshop.
As we know, the components of a book are:
- the cover, which is intended to protect the book;
- corner of the cover;
- cover joint;
- book spine;
- book pages;which are binded in fascicles.
In the restauration process, the cover, an important part of the book, may be glued if the wear allows it, or replaced with a cover made of a special cardboard, after which a label with author's name is attached, and the spine is relaced with a sticker of various colours or special tissue fot book spines.Then, the torn pages are glued, if necessary, fascicles are glued or even supplemented in case of lots of parts with copies made after a similar book.
After the full restauration of covers and pages, the book must be glued carefully so its pages must be in line, and after the page alignement, the book is sewed or stitched.After all these processes, the book must be presses for minimum 24 hours to eliminate its deforming.
Sewing with cotton thread is the old manual stitching process practiced in traditional book binding shops, this process actually completes the restauration process giving the book a chance to remain in the library fund for a longer period of time.
Gluing, another important process used in the restoration of books, is made with great attention to prevent accidents, such as spreading glue on book pages.When the glue is applied directly on paper, the brush movements should be guided along the fibers to prevent their dissociation.To avoid page agglutination, the adhesive which exceeds the application area should be immediately remived with a wet piece of gauze.
Bringing together torn apart sheets requires attention and it is performed as the following:the components are joined together, the continuity of text is carefully checked and a transparent adhesive layer is applied.
Thus maintained the accuracy of restauration process in workshop, the materials must look impeccably restored at their "release".
All these methods used to restore the book fund lead to loneger lives of books, so they can be more affordable to a larger number of users, thus contribuiting to the education of all generations and approch to our national and world writers and poets.