Book conservation and repair: vellum-bound books

Course Dates: 29/04/20 - 15/07/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Peter Spain

Learn to assess books and repair vellum-covered books including limp, semi-limp and boarded style. Work on your own projects in paper, cloth or leather. Basic materials included. For those with some bookbinding experience.


What is the course about?

This is a structured course for intermediate and advanced learners on the repair and conservation of vellum-bound books. We will examine different vellum structures and explore the options available for conservation of antiquarian material. You will also have the freedom to work on your own projects in paper, cloth or leather with support and guidance from the tutor.

What will we cover?

Repair and conservation of vellum-bound books to include limp, semi-limp and boarded structures. All aspects of
both cloth and leather bindings can be dealt with, as can the construction of portfolios, slip-cases and drop-back

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Assess and repair a vellum covered volume.
- Construct appropriate enclosures for books and pamphlets.¿
- Complete unfinished book repairs.¿
- Demonstrate a greater understanding of how to approach and undertake successful repair and conservation of

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is aimed at students with some experience of bookbinding and/or book repair. You must have a reasonable level of experience in book repair principles, and some historical knowledge of bookbinding would be an advantage.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for
health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use
numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

By demonstration and individual practice, at your own bench space, with the guidance of an experienced tutor. Some handouts will be provided, but you will be expected to keep and use your own working notes.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You must provide your own books to work on, and to have these available at the beginning of the course. Guidance will be given on the first day as to what is required and appropriate. The bindery is equipped with most tools, but you will be expected to use your own hand tools. The class has some materials which are provided for purchase and you will be given guidance for providing your own.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, Build students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The intermediate/advanced conservation workshops VD245/246/247 would be a suitable follow-on from this course. Your tutor will be able to advise on further study during the course.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Do it if you are interested and enjoy such work
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 03/07/2019)
Informative technical help; structured assistance on project to make a limp vellum covered book a facsimile of a 16th century book. The class was collegial and friendly; fellow students and the tutor generously lent and gave away their own materials , tools and shared experiences. it was agood opportunity to learn about a variety of historical books from the very different projects brought in by the students.
Course Rating
Review by NA / (Posted on 02/07/2015)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VD204

Wed, day, 29 Apr - 15 Jul '20

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Full fee: £499.00
Senior fee: £399.00
Concession: £304.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

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Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online . You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.

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