Indiana University Libraries Book Repair Manual


This is used to extract moisture away from flat paper mends and sometimes for interleaving wet books. As can be seen in the side-lighted photo, its surface is somewhat textured. The fiber content of the blotter we use is pure cotton, as it has a high capacity for absorption.

Colored Paper

This paper is used to make replacement labels for the spines of books whose originals have been damaged or lost. It is cut into 8.5" x 11" sheets and used in a regular inkjet printer. Following printing, each sheet of labels is either sprayed with an acrylic fixative or fixed by brushing on a solution of Klucel G. The labels are trimmed to size using a knife and straight edge.

Japanese Tissue

The long fibers of this paper makes it quite strong for its thickness. As such, it is the material of choice for paper mending, guarding folds, hinging in loose pages, and making a reversible barrier layer on the spine of a book.

Mohawk Superfine/Text-Weight Paper

This 80 lb. Text weight paper is used for spine liners and end sheets. We keep it in two colors (white and off-white) and two finishes (smooth and eggshell). Its grain runs long (lengthwise) when drawn as a full sheet from the box.


Ordinary newsprint paper is used as scrap for applying adhesives and for interleaving wet books. As it is not an archival material, it does not become any part of any repair or enclosure treatment.

Photocopy Paper

Regular copier paper is used for the routine business of the lab, but archival paper is used for anything that is going to become part of a book or an enclosure. This would include replacement pages and copies of decorative or informational endpapers. Archival paper is often identifiable by a watermark, as shown in the enhanced-contrast illustration.

Waxed Paper

Because of its resistance to adhesion, waxed paper is used as an adhesive mask for PVA and PVA mixture. Ideally, it should be of a heavier gauge than the ordinary kitchen variety, as the added strength is sometimes needed for release from the dried adhesive. We buy large rolls of heavy waxed kraft paper, which works very well for the purpose.

Freezer Paper

Freezer paper can be used to wrap wet books as they are packed into boxes. One surface of the paper is stick-resistant due to a polyurethane coating, and wrapping should be done in such a manner that this glossy surface is the one that is in contact with the books. Freezer paper also works well as an adhesive mask for use with PVA/mixture. However only the treated side is resistant to adhesion, so it is often necessary to use two sheets with both coated sides out, simulating a sheet coated on both sides.