In his correspondence he outlines the process:
Most books need me to :I am sure there are other book restoration companies around the U.S. but since this is a labor intensive activity and since even family heirlooms can lose their apparent value when in poor condition and may get thrown out, I thought it would be interesting to highlight this type of business, especially with the series of photos on his website.
- Remove covers
- Remove all the old glue (they used hide glue years ago and after a few year it gets brittle and cracks). I use a VPA glue that doesn't get hard.
- Remove the old mull (cheese cloth like material that holds the binding together)
- On some books I will resew the signatures
- Replace with a new, stronger mull and PVA glue
- Split the cover just under the outside cloth/leather and fold back to expose the strawboard. I'll glue the new mull to this.
- Re-use all of the original cover, closing any gaps and rips as much as possible.
I might put in one caution. If a book is rare or has intrinsic historical value, I would consult a competent rare book dealer to see what effect restoration of the book would have on its value. Sometimes, historical artifacts are best conserved in their original condition without an attempt to restore them. This would not apply to a family Bible however, since the book itself must be conserved and unless extremely rare should be repaired. Care should be taken to preserve any pages that contain inscriptions also.
For more information about book restoration see the Library of Congress. You may also wish to consult the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.