Regality Register of Abbey Register
The Regality Register of Arbroath is a working manuscript between 1178 – 1560
It would have originally been bound in vellum, approximately around the 18thc, when the manuscript was handed to Arbroath Town, is the likely time it was re-bound in soft red leather.
The volume required some restoration, so it was decided to cover the volume back into a traditional material used around 1178.
Regality Register of Abbey Register
Leather scuffed from wear and tear
- Top panel very worn, missing head cap and head band, top of boards scuffed, corners of boards showing through leather.
- Bottom panel slightly less scuffed, tailcap badly worn with worn holes in leather below the cap. Headband is attached to the left of spine when looking at volumes spine. Corners of boards along bottom showing through boards.
Front paper flyleaf is fragile, top 50mm torn along joint and loose, bottom 20mm torn, coming away from the spine and 10mm attached above damage and another 25mm section broken along joint.
Original, likely to have been bound in limp or case vellum binding.
The front 2,4 pages are dirty from ingrained dirt, suggesting the case became detached at some stage in its history.
92 parchment pages, attached to approx. 20 sections.
The volume has been wrapped in polythene, to enable the parchment endpapers to be gently humidified, to release the animal hide glue. To do this capillary matting was wetted out using tap water, sympatex is layed over the matting to allow the vapour through, which then humidifies the parchment. After approximately 30mins the parchment is released, the same procedure is carried out on the other endpaper.
Internally the pages are cleaned using a latex aerated sponge..
The leather turn-ins are humidified using a poultice of methyl cellulose, after 30mins the turn-ins are releasing, which allows the full leather to be removed from the volume.
The tailcap band requires re-attaching as the thread attaching it has given way, by re-attaching under kettle stitch using new unbleached cotton thread.
The headcap band was no longer available, so a new one was made, sewn and attached to the head of the volume, using hemp cord and cream linen thread..
Internally the front fly leaf, with handover note required repair, so was removed, repaired using Udagmi, and tipped on the flyleaf and into the volume using 14% wheat starch / 3% methyl cellulose paste, which is the same paste used throughout any adhering treatments.
The boards were lined with somerset, and blotting paper externally to tone to a similar colour to the vellum, internally Gampi was used in attempt to bow the boards inwards a little.
The spine has been lined using Hosokawa Japaneses paper. All paper was adhered using the in-house paste.
Five manilla templates were made before, to perfect each alteration and be sure of the accuracy and fit before cutting the vellum to size.
The vellum is attached to the text block, by going behind the spine and turn-ins over the board, allowing for enough overlap. A yap edge has been added to allow enough expansion whilst opening the volume, protecting the foredge and to attach ties. Scores have been cut in each corner of the vellum, for exact cut vellum points can be inserted. All one piece of vellum, no adhesive – limp vellum.
With the vellum turn-ins going behind the spine and over the boards, was forcing a hinge, making the boards spring up. To get round this the volume, with vellum attached was humidified in a chamber for around an hour before being happy that the vellum cover was suitable humidified, to climatise in situ overnight. The following morning the volume and cover have settled and are sitting flush with the text block.
Tie cords have been attached to the yap edge using natural bookbinding calf.
The original leather labels have been adhered onto the vellum spine.
A custom made archival folding box board box has been made, for secondary protection.