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AIC 2010 Notes: “A Survey of Leather Conservation Practices”

“A Survey of Leather Conservation Practices”

Jennifer Hain Teper, Head, Conservation, University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

Melissa Straw, Director of Library Preservation, Goucher College Library

Wed., May 12, 2010, 3:00-3:30 p.m.

The authors developed their survey to supplement a chapter of the AIC Book Conservation Catalog. They not only collected data on the types of treatments that conservators are doing, but they cross compared the treatment data with the demographic data to see if certain types of conservators tend to favor certain treatments.

Some of the preliminary findings include:

  • Lots of use of tissue hinges and cloth hinges as board attachment methods.
  • Common materials used for hinge repair and rebacking include Japanese paper, leather, book cloth, linen and linen lined with Japanese paper (solvent set).
  • A variety of adhesives are being used: PVA, wheat starch paste, methyl cellulose, gelatin, pva/paste mix, pva/methyl cellulose mix, pva/klucel g mix
  • Although there is a strong preference for not dying leather, some conservators use aniline, acrylics, and watercolors to do so.
  • Like dying leather, there is a strong preference for not applying surface treatments. However, when they were used, conservators are using Klucel G, SC6000, and the “red rot cocktail
  • Next steps include more research on the use of cellulose ethers as many people raised concern about these.

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