Dates: October 18 to 2oth, 2021 (this lecture is given the 19th).
Lecture: Conservation of reused bindings.
Book conservation involves complex decision making regarding usability and long term preservation. A book is meant to be handled in order to read it, and yet we might want to keep old repairs, no matter how non-effective they might be.These ethical considerations become even more complex when re-used materials are part of the binding, either because the covers are a document their selves (for instance, a manuscript, a most common case also known as “disjecta membra”) or also when the binding is a recycled one, a palimpsest binding. The adjustments made by the craftsmen in the rebinding process should be kept as an evidence of this historical fact, and yet we might be interested in keeping other data from the firstly used materials. At the same time, preservation commands to take decisions in order to stabilize the object.
The lecture focuses on several case studies (incunabula and manuscripts with limp vellum bindings and rolled sewing on parchment vellum bindings) showing that decision making can only be a custom-made for each particular book.
Acknowledgement for their permission to share the images of their books: Public Library Carles Rahola, Regional Archive of Urgell (Tàrrega), Historical Archive of Lleida, Regional Archive of Vallès Occidental (Terrassa), National Archive of Catalonia (Government of Catalonia).