Bookbinding—Book Repair & Restoration
Past projects have included the conservation of three volumes bearing Chief Justice John Marshall’s signature (owned by a descendent) by constructing a three-compartment, leather-covered box to prevent further deterioration from environmental influences.
Other projects have included the rebinding of a first edition of David Copperfield and several other early printings of Dickens’ works, as well as the rebinding of a 1626 edition of The Scottish Book of Common Prayer and a number of family bibles.
My first commission in Vancouver was to create an archival clamshell box for Reverend John D. McCarty’s Journal—an important document of the City’s mid-19th century history.
The original state of each volume received for restoration is documented with pictures, if appropriate, as is the work done on the volume. These images may accompany the book upon return to the client, if requested.
Only archaically safe materials are used and their reversibility is a factor. Advice from the conservation section of the Library of Congress is sought when needed. When requested I can make a custom designed slip case or clam shell box. Fees are based on the extent of the work to be done and will be agreed upon at first. Billing is based on the time required and the cost of materials used and will be quoted as a firm contract when receiving the book. Payment may be made by check or PAYPAL.
The restoration and repair gallery examples are included as a brief overview to demonstrate the wide range of possibilities.
Passion & Philosophy: Preservation of Books & Bindings
Fine bindings have been my passion along with a lifelong interest in the preservation of fine books.
I am an individual practitioner in the craft of bookbinding. My emphasis is the preservation of antique books.
My goal is to preserve, as much as possible, the original fabric of the book. There are times when restoration by the addition of new materials might reduce the historic or monetary value of the volume in which case an archival box should be used. These kinds of decisions are made only after comprehensive dialogue with the client.
Training & Experience: Smithsonian, Library of Congress, & Other Art Institutes
While living in the Washington, DC, area, I was able to study all aspects of book creation and preservation at the Smithsonian Institution as well as through private lessons with a book conservator from the Library of Congress.
Upon retirement, I began to work as a volunteer book conservator at East Carolina University Joyner Library and the local city library. I taught basic bookbinding at the Greenville North Carolina Center for Arts & Crafts. I have also taught a course in book restoration at the John C. Campbell Folk School in the North Carolina Mountains.
I periodically offer book-restoration classes here in Vancouver, Washington, where I currently reside. Restoration work is performed at my studio in Vancouver, WA.
In December 2012, I was featured in Vancouver's local newspaper, The Columbian; the news article “Retiree Restores Antique Books in His Workshop“ may be accessed through the extracted copy here.