Indiana University Libraries Book Repair Manual


Treatment Criteria:

One or more leaves of a book have disengaged from the text block, most often due to adhesive failure. Replacement pages, errata, and addenda are a few of the numerous other candidates. The repair takes its name from the fact that adhesive is applied to only the "tip" of the detached leaf (and, of course, that it is placed back "in" the book). This is perhaps the simplest and least time-consuming of all book repairs.

Leaves which have broken or otherwise failed due to embrittlement are not candidates for this repair.

Shown is a typical candidate, an adhesive bound book with, in this case, two detached leaves.

The leaves are placed on a piece of scrap paper such as newsprint. The one on top is situated so that it leaves about 2 mm of the bottom one showing. A paper mask is placed over the top of them, the same distance from the edge of the topmost leaf. Adhesive is applied to the exposed outer edges of the leaves. PVA mixture is the adhesive used.

Here is a close-up view of how the stack is staggered, using the classic, a coin, as a scale reference. Two leaves is about the maximum that should be done at one time using this stack approach; more than that and it can get pretty unmanageable when you go to re-install them.

If a large number of consecutive leaves are loose, they can be dealt with all at once but by a slightly different method. By jogging them up at the spine edge and holding them firmly, an adhesive-charged brush can be raked across the spine edge of the group, allowing adhesive to barely run into the spaces between the leaves and over the outermost pages. Skilful execution of this procedure requires a little more experience than the stack method, but it is by no means difficult.

The leaves are jogged up flush at all edges and as they are placed back into the book, they should be pulled taut toward the ends (red arrows). This serves to keep any sags out of them. Keeping them straight minimizes the chance that adhesive will accidentally be shed further out from the spine where it is not wanted. If that happens, clean it off with a paper towel and mask between the two affected leaves with waxed paper, mylar, tyvek, or other stick-resistant material.

The book is now placed under weight and is finished