Laboratorio de conservacion Nicolas Yapuguay Del Fondo Antiguo de la compana de Jesus

During my stay in Buenos Aires in March this year I visited the Fondo Antiguo de Jesus, on Callao Ave, in the centre of Buenos Aires, close to my apartment. I had walked past this Jesuit church and college many times, little realising what lay hidden behind its façade.

Fondo Antiguo de Jesus

Fondo Antiguo de Jesus, from the street it's quite impressive

Bleaching Workshop

A bleaching workshop overview was presented on 20 June by Robin Tait(NLA) and Nick Zihrul from the Australian War Memorial. The workshop was held at the NLA Preservation Lab. The workshop was attended by 14 conservators and students from the National Gallery of Australia, Australian Maritime Museum, National Australian Museum, Art and Archival, National Film and Sound Archive and students from University of Canberra. This was a overview workshop taken from the original 5 day intensive workshop presented by Renate Mesmer and Julie Biggs at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Simplified binding in Eduardo Tarrico's studio

I'm always keen on learning new techniques and meeting new people. So this trip to Buenos Aires (BsAs) fulfilled both of those needs. I obtained Eduardo Tarrico's contact details through the BookArts Dist List. His only course for March was on simplified binding. Simplified binding is a method developed by Sun Evrard, and in its simplest terms is a book cover method in 3 parts: a spine and 2 boards. What makes this fun is that each piece could be covered with different materials/colours.

No lumpy leather in this bindery

"Can you feel the lumps?" asks Robin. "Lumps?" I reply, "what lumps? my fingers are too numb!" I've been paring leather this week, and my fingers are numb from holding the leather and the knife and pushing down and pushing across, all at the same time. Paring leather is the action of making the leather thinner.The aim is to "get to zero", where there is no noticeable difference between leather and the working surface. And that is REALLY thin Since I've been at the library I haven't had much call to use leather.

A gathering of bookbinders

At the beginning of November, close to eighty bookbinders gathered at the Rheinberger Centre in Yarralumla for what promised to be an exciting week-end of anecdotal and informative exchanges. The Gathering, a national conference of book binders, was organised by the Canberra Bookbinders Guild,  the second to be held in Canberra since 1984.

Zinesters of the world: no happy stapling or rubber bands please

Rubber bands are in the same class as sticky tape and staples: not only do they all mean more work for me,but they also spell inevitable disaster for the item. There are staples that rust and staples that don't rust.There are staples that require me to grow muscles.  If we are going to preserve items, whenever I see a staple I am honour and duty bound to remove it and rebind the item. Staff around the building are also coming to the realisation that staples are bad, and send us items for de-stapling and re-binding.

Tapestry Delights

The three Aubusson tapestries , ‘Ram’s Head’, ‘Radio Telescope’, and the ‘Parrot’ were woven in Aubusson, France, for the National Library of Australia and are a great attraction to the Library. Ever wondered what happens to the three Aubusson tapestrieswhen they disappear for 2 weeks a year? Well, around August/ September is breeding season. Bugs, like carpet beetles, find their way to the tapestry.

A face lift for the Port of Sydney

We’ve recently been working on a Map of part of the water frontage of the Port of Sydney shewing parts of the land and wharfage vested in the Sydney Harbour Trust Commissioners. It was donated to the National Library by a former employee of the Customs Department in Sydney. The map appears to have been used as a wall-mounted copy in the Customs Department, and the colouring was presumably added at that point to highlight plans or working arrangements at the time. This map came into the collection in a relatively sorry state.

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