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The UNLV Libraries Conservaton/Preservation Laboratory did restoration work on a rare 1st edition of Black's Law Dictionary. We did this as a courtesy for the law library of Lionel, Sawyer, & Collins.

The leather cover was seriously deteriorated, and it had been detached from the volume.
However, we decided to use the original leather, as not to diminish the value of the book.
The lab re-inforced the sub-structure of the text block, with new cambric and the resewing of signatures.
New end leaves were added, when the cover was reattached.
A hand-written signature of the original owner was also salvaged.

The leather front cover was reinforced and sealed with a heavy weight kozo paper.
Acrylic paint was used to touch up the repair on the cover, and to blend it in with the original binding.
Finally, an clear acrylic coat was applied to the exterior to help control the leather's red rot.

While the book is now stable for use, I left most of the original cover's wearing untouched,
as an indication that the cover is original to the volume.

In addition, the lab made a clam-shell box to help protect the volume during storage.
With proper handling, the volume should be stable and useable for several generations.

Before photos:

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During restoration:


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After photos:


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Updated: Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:54:50 PST
Content Provider: Special Collections Staff
Page Editor: Thomas Sommer