Case Studies


Sindbad the Sailor; Bysh’s edition, London, 1831 – H.IIIB.33
The fictional figure of Sinbad (or Sindbad, as printed here) is a familiar one in children’s literature and entertainment; this edition was published in London in 1831 and features hand-coloured illustrations of his “seven wonderful voyages”. Its eight engravings are all fully coloured – setting it apart from some other chapbooks; and include images of ‘Sindbad following the Sea-monster’, ‘Sindbad carrying the Old Man of the Sea’ and ‘The one-eyed Monster hurling pieces of Rock after Sindbad’.
Like the other chapbooks included here, this volume had never been bound, and so required conservation work in order to prevent any further damage to the endpapers.

Thanks to its Adopter its leaves were surface cleaned. Repaired with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste with sewn on linen thread. Aged compatible endpapers were added. Bound in cloth, with title on spine in gold.

Athanasius Kircher; Musurgia universalis; Rome, 1650 – Mus B14
A Jesuit scholar and polymath, Athanasius Kircher published somewhere around forty major works on a series of subjects, including Orientalism, medicine, geology and disease. Compared to Leonardo da Vinci in respect of his enormous range of interests, he has been credited with founding the study of Egyptology; establishing the links between disease and microorganisms after studying bacteria under a microscope; and inventing the megaphone. Musurgia universalis, combined two of Kircher’s great passions: music and science.

Thanks to its adopter it has now been fully restored and can now be viewed by visitors to the Cathedral on the Library's Show and Tell sessions. As part of its restoration, its leaves were surface cleaned, the original spine was lifted to allow attachment of new leather spine. Board corners were repaired with matching calf. and the original spine remounted onto new leather.

Galileo Galilei; Systema Cosmicum; London, 1663 – H.IV.34 
This is the first English translation of Galileo's Systema Cosmicum (Cosmic System), published in London in 1663. Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and physicist, is one of the greatest scientists of all time.  Described as the Father of Modern Science, among his achievements was the discovery of Jupiter's moons and the laws governing falling bodies.  His scientific approach to the investigation of celestial phenomena and his support for the Copernican theory of the solar system, set down in this volume, caused him to be investigated by the Roman Inquisition. 

Restoration included cleaning the suface of its leaves, the original spine and label were removed to allow application of new leather spine with original spine remounted. Missing paper replaced with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste. Board corners strengthened with new calf leather. 

The Juvenile Riddle Book; London, 1820s – H.IIIB.31  
Published by Dean and Munday of Threadneedle Street sometime in the 1820s, this tiny book of riddles for children originally cost sixpence. With a coloured frontispiece (containing a number of riddles within itself) and thirty-two engravings throughout the book, it appears to have been of a slightly higher quality than other chapbooks sold at the time. This volume had never been bound, and required resewing, before being rebound in cloth. A beautifully illustrated book, we are delighted it can now be enjoyed through Library events and exhibitions. Restoration work encompased the leaves being surface cleaned. Missing/damaged paper repaired with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste with sewn on linen thread. Aged compatible endpapers added and last but not least bound in cloth, with title on spine in gold.

Images were provided by Carronvale Bindery, based in Falkirk, who provide a wide range of high quality book and conservation services to customers all over the country. Established in 1981 by Tom Valentine, a binder with over 50 years’ experience in the field, he was joined by his son Louis Valentine 1993 who took on the running of the running of the business. Louis has painstakingly undertaken the restoration work needed on these books, as well as all books that have been adopted as part of Adopt a Book Programme.