Books with leather, vellum and parchment bindings

Air Drying Procedures:

  • Collection items in this category should be handled only by trained staff or conservators.
  • Insert freezer paper between the covers and the text blocks of each book to prevent the covers from staining the pages.
  • After separating pages, place freezer paper between pages with bleeding ink or colorants. Do not use absorbent interleaving. Do not over-stress the bindings with excess freezer paper or insert freezer paper deep into the gutter.
  • If a book requires large amounts of interleaving, then it must be fully dried in a fanned position with covers supported by blocks.
  • Drying small books with rigid covers:
    1. Stand books upright and fan open.
    2. Invert books every 8-12 hours to prevent damage to the covers or sewing and to promote even drying.
  • Oversize books or items with weak covers:
    1. Place books flat and open as far as possible without damaging the spine.
    2. Support covers with blocks at a partial opening if the item cannot lay flat.
    3. When almost completely dry, close and square up as much as possible.
    4. Do not force the book closed (Remove excess interleaving if the book does not close).
  • Books that can be closed:
    1. Wrap spine and covers in spun polyester webbing.
    2. Sandwich books between sheets of corrugated board.
    3. Stack horizontally with several other books of similar size.
    4. Place under a pressing board and weight.
  • Books that can't be closed:
    1. Wrap spine and covers in polyester webbing.
    2. Open books partially in an L-shape with one cover and text block on a flat surface and the other cover upright.
    3. Support the raised cover on the outside using a weight, block, or bookend.
    4. Place corrugated board flat on top of a text block and put a small weight on top.
    5. Flip the book occasionally to flatten the other cover.