About Us

Preservation Unit 
425 Library, MC-522
UIUC Library
1408 West Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801

Conservation Lab 
Oak St. Library Facility
OSLF, 2nd Floor
809 South Oak Street
Mail Code 527
Champaign, IL 61820

Identifying Materials Appropriate for In-House Repair

A typical hard cover book may need attention at one or possibly several states in its life:

A typical soft cover book may need attention at similar states in its life:

Working Definition of "Minor Mending and Repair"

For the purposes of this manual, "minor mending and repair" is defined as those repairs that meet any of the following criteria:

How to Identify Books Appropriate for In-House Repair

Damaged books are identified by both library staff and patrons as they are used. To make the decision to repair a book in-house requires that each staff member involved in the process be familiar with and understand the implications of treatment and/or other options available. If the over-arching goal of preservation is access, then book repair becomes one option for providing access to that particular book. Briefly, the other options commonly available are a) ordering a replacement copy of the damaged book, b) sending the book out for commercial binding, c) reformatting the book, and d) boxing the original material. Each option has a cost, both in staff time and materials. Unfortunately, there are no hard-and-fast rules for making these decisions. Rather, a number of factors should be considered by the staff as they select books, through use, for repair.

Some Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Book for Repair



In the case of the second and third questions regarding paper, the book should be immediately placed in a plastic bag or zipper sealor and taken directly to the Conservation Department.

Bibliographers and Collection Managers

In Conservation and Book Repair

Derived from:
Dartmouth College Preservation Services
Cornell University Preservation Department