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The floods of 2007 caused damage to all kinds of property, and not only buildings.  Angela Sutton was asked to repair and rebind some valuable books that had become wet and then been left in a box, which meant that mould had flourished.  This had destroyed some of the covers which had to be replaced entirely but parts were retained where possible. 

THE CANTERBURY TALES

This was a Folio Society edition of the Canterbury Tales and so had been nicely produced.  The spine was a leatherette material and the siding a tough bookcloth known as ‘crash’ canvas. 

The text block inside was relatively undamaged, apart from a few pages which had been turned pink by mould. Angela Sutton cut the spine away from the cover as it would be usable.

The inside of the book responded well to several days’ worth of pressing, except for the water-damaged area.  The spine was replaced with a similar-coloured bookcloth and the sides with new crash canvas.  The spine strip with lettering was cut out and re-glued to the spine, thus making a link to the original binding.

Canterbury Tales - after

Canterbury Tales - before

Canterbury Tales - after

GONE WITH THE WIND

Gone with the Wind - before

Gone with the Wind - after

This book was severely damaged by floodwater followed by mould and as it was not particularly valuable, advice normally would have been to replace it with a new copy.  However, it had been given to the owner’s mother by a friend, and there was an inscription the owner wished to keep so its sentimental value was considerable. 

The cover was unsalvageable, so the book was rebound in a cloth case-binding of the same colour as the original.  Although the area with the title was so fragile and friable that it did not look very tidy when glued on, the owner wished to keep it as a link to the past. 

Gone with the Wind - after

SCRAPBOOK

The boards of this book were warped and flood-damaged but the owner wished to retain the outer cover.  The outer cover paper was carefully detached, supported by a layer of the original board. The original spine strip had been blue so a new case was made in this colour and the outer cover paper re-glued in place. 

Scrapbook - after

Scrapbook - before

One difficulty was that the cat’s eyes were pieces of glass which stood out from the cover. So, before pressing, a board had to be cut out to fit round the eyes to protect them.  The inner pages were pressed to flatten them as much as was practicable without damaging the items glued on to them. Some of these had floated off; these were rescued and re-glued in place.  The pages were guarded and resewn.

 
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