An initial consultation of 30 minutes is free if the item is left for conservation treatment. If an item is not left for treatment after this meeting, a charge of $45 will apply. Digital photos may be submitted for a free approximation of cost, but the final estimate of cost will only be provided when the item has been examined in person.
All items left for conservation will incur a $75 processing fee which covers a written report and before/after photographs.
- Conservation treatment of books and manuscripts
- Book Repair
- Protective Enclosures
- New Bindings
- Collection Surveys
- Private bookbinding lessons
- Bookbinding and book repair classes
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between conservation and restoration?
A: The American Institute of Conservation (AIC) defines conservation as, “The profession devoted to the preservation of cultural property for the future. Conservation activities include examination, documentation, treatment, and preventive care, supported by research and education.” AIC defines restoration as, “Treatment procedures intended to return cultural property to a known or assumed state, often through the addition of non-original material.” Conservators will approach treatment from a scientific, materials and aesthetic perspective and strive to perform the least intrusive repairs needed so as not to disturb the intrinsic nature of the object. We use as many reversible treatments and materials as possible and seek to first stabilize objects, then make repairs aesthetically pleasing.
Q: How much will conservation cost?
A: The cost of conservation treatment depends upon the time treatment will take and cost of materials needed. Often a couple of different treatments are offered as options and the final selection depends upon the goal of the owner, how the object will be used, and budget considerations of the owner. A rough estimate can be given if digital photographs are submitted, but a truly accurate estimate can only be given after the object is examined in person.
Q: My book/manuscript has only sentimental value; should I still have it restored?
A: If an object in your possession has sentimental value and will be kept indefinitely, conservation is generally recommended. If an object is damaged and the damage is not mitigated, the object can become more damaged over time making conservation treatment more time consuming and expensive.
Q: Will conservation decrease the value of my book/manuscript?
A: In general, conservation treatment will add value to an object if it is unusable in its current state. A book or manuscript which is damaged cannot be returned to its “new” value, but conservation may add value to the object by stabilizing it and ensuring safe usage in the future. An appraiser should be contacted for specific questions regarding specific objects.
Q: What is the best way to store books now that they have been conserved?
A: Books are damaged by fluctuations in temperature and humidity and direct light. Store them in a cool environment, out of direct sunlight, with good airflow. Do not store them in attics, basements, garages, or other places in your house with extreme fluctuations of temperature and humidity and risk of insect infestation. Do not wrap your items in plastic or acidic newsprint. Plastic does not allow airflow around an object and may exacerbate mold growth; the acid in newspapers may transfer onto and into an object. Shelve books upright on a shelf with proper support, but not so tight that pulling books off of the shelf is difficult. Oversized books should be shelved flat. Do not attempt to repair your own books with tape or glue.
Q: How much is my book worth?
A: I am not an appraiser and would recommend contacting an appraiser who specializes in books and/or archival materials. You may be able to locate an appraiser in your area by consulting the American Society of Appraisers at http://www.appraisers.org/find-an-appraiser.
Q: Are old books valuable?
A: No. The value of a book depends on several factors, only one of which is age. Other factors include condition and demand, or bibliographic conditions (the publisher, art work or plates present, first or special edition, etc.). The Rare Books and Manuscripts section of the Association of Colleges and Research Libraries website (http://www.rbms.info/yob.shtml) has an excellent page answering many questions about rare books.
Q: I do not live in Austin. May I ship my book to you?
A: Yes! Wrap your book in a protective layer of bubble wrap and place it in a box. Fill the extra space with paper or another filler material. Place this box in a second box and again fill the extra space so it cannot move around while in transit. You may ship it to me using FedEx or UPS and be sure to get a tracking number. Please contact April for a mailing address.