Posted by: kbenoy | November 21, 2012

Mander Ledger: Conservation 2

This week I am going to tell you about the next process in the conservation of the Samuel Small Mander Estate Ledger. In my post last week we saw how Jon the Conservator at Wolverhampton City Archives repaired the pages of the volume ready for it to be resewn back into a book.

The first step was to set up the sewing frame by attaching three tapes for the sections to be sewn to.

Jon fixing the tapes to the sewing frame

The tapes were made of standard archival quality tape and were attached to the frame by keys that push in at the bottom of the frame and hooks that hang from the top.

Lining up the tapes with the text block

The tapes were spaced in the frame to match the original bindings on the text block and were then tensioned by tightening the hooks on the top of the frame.

Tensioning the tapes on the sewing frame

Once the tapes were in place the first new end paper was sewn to the tapes using a needle and bookbinders thread.

Sewing the first end paper to the tapes

The stitch goes across the tapes rather than through them to allow the sections to roll over the tapes once sewn in place.

Sewing the first end paper to the tapes

After the end paper was sewn in place the first section of the ledger was sewn in by stitching through the pages in the same way, across the tape using the existing holes from the previous binding.

Sewing the first section of the volume to the end tapes

This process was continued with each section of pages being sewn to the tapes to make up the text block as shown below.  

Half sewn

The image below shows the kettle stitch used at the end of the pages to hold the sections together. Without it the sections would be able to move up and down on the tapes. The kettle stitch also supports the top and bottom of the spine of the volume once in use.

The pages have been sewn on to the tapes with a kettle stitch at each end

Once all the sections of the ledger had been sewn together the second end pages were sewn in place and the text block was removed from the sewing frame.

Removing the fully sewn volume from the sewing frame

This image shows the finished binding with the kettle stitch along the left side, holding the sections together, and the stiches over the tapes.

The text block after being stitched to the tapes

At this point the volume had been sewn but was still a long way from being finished.

Volume after being sewn but not yet glued or covered

Next week, in the final part on the conservation of the Samuel Small Mander Trustees Ledger, I will explain how the volume was finished and covered to make it back into a usable volume.

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