Dates: 26 to 28 May 2021 (this lecture is given the 27th).
Lecture: Conservation of reused bidnings (part two).
Book conservation involves a tough decision making regarding usability and long term preservation. A book is meant to be handled in order to read it.
These ethical considerations become even more complex when re-used materials are part of the binding, either because the covers are a document theirselves (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 (incunaubla and manuscripts with limp vellum bindings and laced-case vellum bindings) showing that decision making can only be a custom-made for each particular book.