HSBC Staff Index – 1920’s Spring Back Account Binding
The project involved the documentation and conservation treatment of a much-consulted 1920’s full leather spring back account binding. The text block had been previously repaired with heavy, damaging repairs that frequently obscured the text. The binding structure had collapsed and 60% of the spine was missing. What remained was worn and de-laminating. The sewing was broken and several sections were detached. The aims of treatment were to enable the book to endure frequent safe-handling by researchers.
The purpose of repair was to enable handling by staff and researchers with the intention of reusing all elements of the current binding. Dry cleaning prepared the text block for the repaired binding and prevented the transfer and embedding of loose acidic dirt. The old repairs were removed with the local application of poultices to reactivate the adhesive. The were returned and kept alongside the repaired binding. The text block was repaired using lightweight and flexible Japanese papers, making sure that all inscriptions were fully legible and the weakened areas supported for future handling. Acrylic-toned Japanese paper has provided a good level of protection to the repaired and consolidated corners and board edges. The sewing was repaired using the existing sewing stations and the spine engineering recreated, with a new spine piece. The binding has been fully re-backed with archival leather toned to match to provide strength in the joints.