I'm very lucky to have been part of an in-situ library conservation project at All Souls College in Oxford, on and off for the past 29 years. I work with a team of bookbinders and paper conservators, all of us professional and freelance, each summer to stabilise the books in this wonderful library.
Some of the books and manuscripts date back as far as the 16th century, with historic binding structures and covering materials.
We clean the books by dusting them externally and internally, and carry out repairs to torn pages and covers using Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste. We also make custom preservation boxes, wrappers and book shoes, which support dropping text blocks.
I usually work alone in my studio, so it's great to work with other bookbinders for a while, and I love the daily commute by bike along the river towpath!