About Us

Preservation Unit 
425 Library, MC-522
UIUC Library
1408 West Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
217-244-1626

Conservation Lab 
Oak St. Library Facility
OSLF, 2nd Floor
809 South Oak Street
Mail Code 527
Champaign, IL 61820
217-265-4198

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

Binding

Paper

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