School of Information - The University of TexasSkip to content
About Programs Admissions Courses People Research Computing Careers Kilgarlin
INF 393C.1: Course Information
Immroth Classroom
selected Home

Contact Info
UT Home




INF 393C.1: Book Lab I

Instructor: Rebecca Elder

Course Meeting Times

Mondays, 1 PM - 4 PM, UTA 1.506A

Course Overview

This class will cover the basic principles of book repair and book repair program management for non-rare materials, including:

  • Lab safety and procedures
  • Book structure
  • Basic book repair techniques
  • Basic protective enclosures
  • Sourcing materials and budgeting

The class will be composed primarily of hands on work. The major assignment will be a portfolio of models of each technique we cover in class. There will be three smaller assignments as well.

Students will be provided with a tool kit for use during the semester. The tool kit must be returned in good condition at the end of the semester. Most materials will be provided by the instructor, however from time to time you will be responsible for providing materials. When this happens, you will be given ample time to acquire the materials.

Several open lab sessions will be scheduled throughout the semester to allow students time to work on their portfolios.

Many readings required will be available through UTLOL or via Blackboard. There is an abundance of material on book repair in the resource room adjacent to the book lab.

Professor: Rebecca Elder
Phone:(512) 699 3494
Office Hours:Monday 12:00-1:00 or by appointment

Teaching Assistant: Halley Grogan

Office Hours:By Appointment

Course policies:
1.  The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.
 2.  All assignments must be written using gender-inclusive language.
 3.  Submit all your assignments on time. Late submissions will not be accepted unless an emergency is involved. In the event of an emergency, the student must contact the instructor as soon as possible.
 4.  The instructor will provide any assistance upon the student's inquiry. However, the student is responsible for his/her own effort to complete the assignments.
 5.  Students are required to attend class and to be on time. Any absence or lateness will affect the class participation grade. By UT Austin policy, you must notify the instructor of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, the instructor will give you an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.
 6.  The instructor reserves the right to issue a course grade of F if any assignment is not completed.
 7.  The syllabus is a flexible document, and may be changed at any time.
 8.  The instructor welcomes feedback from the class.


Grades will be based on:  Portfolio (35%), Written Instructions (15%), Instruction Manual (15%), Budgeting Exercise (15%), and Class Participation and Attendance (20%).

 Class Schedule

This schedule is very tentative. Depending upon class progress, additional repair techniques may be added.

Class #


Topic and Readings                                                                                                                                


January 24

Lab Tour and Safety
Book Terminology
Folding down paper to make sections


Banks and Pillette, ch. 13.,
Young, ch. 3, 5,
AIC Code of Ethics\CFusionMX7\verity\Data\dummy.txt

Handout: Parts of a Bound Volume


January 31

Sewing (8 sections unsupported link, 3 hole pamplhet)

Handout: Unsupported Link Stitch


February 7

Consolidate Textblocks
Rounding and Backing


Young pp.102 - 104, 106, 112-114


February 14

Make Cases
Case In


Young 118-127


February 21

Decision Making
Minor Repair: Tape/Heat Seat, Hinge Tighten

Handout: Candido/Darling Checklist


February 28



March 7

Recase in Original Cover

Preliminary Porfolio Due


March 11

Written Instructions Due


March 14

Spring Break


March 21

Double Fan Adhesive Binding


March 28

Quality Control/Record Keeping/Budgeting

Open Studio


April 4

Angel Project


April 11

Phase Box
4-Flap enclosures

Sourcing/Budgeting Exercise Due


April 18

Open Studio


April 25

Visit to the HRC

Reading: Look at Appelbaum


May 2

Portfolio Review or
Open Studio

Final Portfolio and Instruction Manual due



Portfolio  - 35%

Preliminary Due: March 7
Final Due: May 2

You should submit one example of each of the following:
  • Case bound book with quarter-cloth case
  • Case bound book with full cloth case
  • Page mends with tape and heat set tissue
  • Hinge tightening
  • Tipped in page
  • Hinged in page
  • Reback
  • Recase in original cover
  • DFA
  • Phase box
  • 4 Flap enclosure
  • Any repair techniques added to the syllabus

A preliminary portfolio will be due on March 7, which will include the bound books, page mends, hinge tightening, tipping and hinging and a reback. A temporary grade will be assigned, however this is to be used as a benchmark for your progress only. If you are not happy with the grade you receive on this portion of the portfolio, you may redo any components you like and resubmit them with the final portfolio.

All components will be evaluated for technique, including appropriate repair choice, neatness, and effectiveness of the repair.

Extra credit of up to 2 points may be obtained on the final portfolio by including another repair, enclosure, or model. This should be discussed with the instructor prior to choosing a project.

Written Instructions - 15% Due by e-mail by March 11

As you work in an institutional context, you may be required to write instructions for repair techniques for staff to follow. For this assignment, write a set of directions for rebacking a cloth case binding. Your instructions will be graded on clarity, attention to detail and presentation.

Sourcing/Budgeting Exercise - 15% Due April 11

To successfully manage a repair program and make decisions about appropriate treatment for circulating materials, you must have an understanding of the costs involved. For each consumable material used during class, find at least one source (two or three is preferable and will lead to a correspondingly higher grade) and provide pricing for each.

After you have obtained pricing on each consumable, use this information, along with a labor rate that will be provided to calculate the ultimate cost of each repair technique submitted for your portfolio. A worksheet you can use as an example of how to calculate cost is available on Blackboard.

Instruction Manual - 15% Due May 2

All of the techniques we are performing in class have had instructions written for each of them by many book repair experts, and every repair person does things slightly differently. For each repair technique covered in class, find at least two sets of instructions. These may be submitted on CD or flash drive. For two of these techniques, write a brief analysis (approximately one page) comparing the two sets.


Reading List

Lab Management and Book Repair Programs

Baker, Whitney, and Liz Dube. "Identifying Standard Practices in Research Library Conservation." Library Resources and Technical Services 54.1 (2010): 21-39. Web. 3 Jan 2011.

Banks, Paul and Roberta Pilette. Preservation: Issues and Planning. Chicago: American Library Association, 2000.

Kaufman, Heather. "Issues in Setting Up a Book Repair Program." American Library Association. American Library Association, 2004. Web. 3 Jan 2011.

Silverman, Randy, and Maria Grandinette. The Changing Role of Book Repair in ARL Libraries. Washington, DC.: Association of Research Library, 1993. eBook.


Book Repair Manuals and Miscellaneous Repair Instructions

BonaDea, Artemis. "Conservation Book Repair: A Training Manual." Alaska Historical Library. Alaska State Library, 1995. Web. 3 Jan 2011.

"Conserve-O-Grams." National Park Service Museum Management Program. National Park Service, n.d. Web. 3 Jan 2011.

Dyal, Carole, and Pete Merrill-Oldham. "Three Basic Book Repair Procedures." BookArts Web. Acme Bookbinding, n.d. Web. 3 Jan 2011.

Frost, Gary. "Collections Conservation Procedure Manual." University of Iowa Libraries. University of Iowa Libraries, 2004. Web. 3 Jan 2011.

"Preservation Leaflets." Northeast Document Conservation Center. Northeast Document Conservation Center, n.d. Web. 3 Jan 2011.

"A Simple Book Repair Manual." Dartmouth College Library. Dartmouth College Library, n.d. Web. 3 Jan 2011.

Young, Laura S. Bookbinding & conservation by hand: a working guide. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1995. Print.



Appelbaum, Barbara. Conservation treatment methodology. New York, NY: Elsevier, 2007. Print.

Last Modified: January 25 2010 19:38:10.

© 2001 - 2006 University of Texas at Austin - School of Information