Conservation Blog

By: Sherif Afifi | April 24, 2019

label that was adhered over an original leather book spine.
label that was adhered over an original leather book spine.

This video tutorial demonstrates how to effectively remove a label that was adhered over an original leather book spine. The shelf label was glued over a nineteenth-century split book spine. Animal glue was used on this label (label is now historical evidence of this book). A conservation decision was made to remove the label in order to restore the book. Moisture is required to remove the paper label, however special care must be given to ensure the leather does not get wet. Careful attention to not over moisturizing can avert the following issues: hydrolysis, distortion, discoloration and hardening of leather.

Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) 4% is applied over paper label. In order to moisturize the paper label and react with the animal glu...