Care and restoration of family bibles and other rare books was the topic of a workshop offered by the Herrick District Library Monday night. Approximately 40 people attended the hands-on workshop and were able to observe the cleaning and repair of several items from the Hope College Rare Book Collection.
Kari Miller Fenwood, of Kari Miller Restoration, spoke about the complexities involved in book restoration due to the variety of materials involved. She demonstrated using a variable speed hepa- filter vacuum, using a dry cleaning pad and talked about the pros and cons of cleaning with water.
Participants observed a few repair techniques they might try at home including repairing a page tear with rice paper and rice paste as well as a commercially available tape. She stressed the concept of reversibility and when the services of professional conservator should be considered. Several participants brought family bibles or other rare books and received advice on what level of restoration might be needed.
Participants were given several resources to help them assess their family heirlooms including Your Old Books, a guide sponsored by the Rare Books and Manuscript Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Care, Handling and Storage of Books webpage from the Library of Congress.
The workshop was part of a series of lectures and workshops offered throughout the month as part of the Manifold Greatness traveling exhibition at the Hope College Van Wylen Library.