Book adoption

The work on book adoption is also an important area for the Institute. Books, prints or photographs „adopted“ by patrons are conserved. That may entail conservation of individual books or preventive measures for whole groups of holdings.

For example: thanks to the Gutenberg 3000 Initiative the total holdings of incunabulae (8,000) of the Austrian National Library were stored in acid-free envelopes and boxes.

At this point a current example of an individual conservation project sponsored by adopt a book is presented.

Further information

„The life of Christ taken of the four epistles“, Johann Schott

front page

cover before conservation, without the original leather spine

abraded leather surface

after conservation, with original spine

The presented book was printed 1508 in Strasbourg, Germany. It contains numerous woodcuts showing scenes of the life of Jesus Christ.

The book is bound as half leather binding and covered with coloured paper.


The edges of the boards, as well as the leather surface were partially abraded. The leather spine was broken in both joints, thus being completely detached from the book block.

Treatment report

The abraded surface of the leather was consolidated with Klucel. The leather on the boards was lifted. The volume was rebacked with new calf leather which was coloured in a similar tone as the original leather. After rebacking, the original leather covering the boards, as well as the original leather spine were glued on to the new leather. Abraded board edges were consolidated with wheat starch paste.

last update 10/7/2013