These resources provide guides, photos, and diagrams of the most common repairs for hardcover and paperback books. This page includes both textual and video tutorials and is organized by subject.
General Preservation Resources:
Conservation Book Repair: A Training Manual, Library of Alaska
This book provides information about a number of repairs including: headcap and tailcap repair, recasing, and reattachment of loose pages or signatures.
Simple Book Repair Manual, Dartmouth University:
This comprehensive manual provides an overview of many common book repairs including: hinge repair, torn page repair, spine repair, signature sewing, and corner repair, as well as guidelines for tools, materials, and book anatomy.
Preservation Advisory Centre, British Library
This website provides information about preservation, management, and history of book collections. Of particular use for our collection is the segment on Understanding and Caring for Bookbindings.
Preservation Resources, Northeast Book Conservation Center
The Northeast Book Conservation Center specializes in the preservation of paper materials. Their website has free resources such as tutorials and information about preservation tools and also includes information on digital preservation, photograph conservation, audio conservation, and more.
These tutorials will show you how to replace a loose or damaged spine on a hardcover book.
Video: Spine Repair
These tutorials will demonstrate how to reattach a loose or detached cover to a hardcover book.
Tutorial: Recasing: Syracuse University
Video: Full Recasing
Tutorial: Three Basic Book Repair Procedures, Book Arts Web
Video: Hinge Tightening
These tutorials will demonstrate how to tip in or glue back in a page that has come loose and fallen out of a book. This repair is suitable for both harcover and paperback books.
Tutorial: Three Basic Book Repair Procedures,Tipping-In Loose Pages, Book Arts Web
Video: Tipping In a Page
Video: Tipping In a Page II
This video will demonstrate how to replace an endpaper. However, we do not recommend endpaper repairs because it interferes with the opening action of the book. Blank end leaves can be removed, but that is the extent of the recommend repair.
Video: Endpaper Replacement
These tutorials demonstrate how to create enclosures. Enclosures are used in the Ullman to protect fragile or damaged books that cannot be preserved in another manner. An enclosure is a sort of box that protects a damaged book that is held inside of it. We recommend that all four flap boxes are bonded together with a glue stick before being put into commission.
Tutorial: Tuxedo Box Enclosure: Northeast Documentation Conservation Center
This video will teach you how to sew loose signatures back together. Sewing signatures or full resewing of a book is not a common repair at the Ullman Library. If a book is significantly damaged and also valuable, it may be a candidate for professional rebinding.
Video: Sewing Loose Pages