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Book Repair: Home

This guide is designed to assist with basic, in-house book repair, such as re-gluing loose pages, reinforcing covers, replacing spines, etc. Repairs are to be used for circulating items only, NOT for rare books or items in the permanent collection.

Basic Book Repair Videos

Syracuse University has a YouTube channel that provides videos for basic book repairs, among other videos.  The channel is called "SULPreservation."  A full list of repair videos can be found here.


Book Repair Tools
  • Heavy-duty shears or sewing scissors
  • Bone folder (2)
  • Olfa cutter snap-off blade
  • Glue brush (2)
  • Micro-spatula
  • Metal-edged ruler
  • Lifting knife
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • Acrylic rods or knitting needles
  • Self-healing cutting mat with grid                  


Tools not shown

  • Tweezers
  • Pencil
  • Book press
  • Small weights

Expendable Materials

General Supplies

  • Polyvinyl acetate [PVA] (pH-neutral adhesive)
  • Methyl cellulose (alternative adhesive)
  • Wheat starch paste (alternative adhesive)
  • Spun polyester sheeting
  • Blotter paper
  • Polyester film (Mylar type D)

Cleaning Supplies

  • White vinyl or kneadable eraser
  • Smoke sponge
  • Document cleaning pad
  • Natural bristle dust brush
  • Cotton gloves

Adhesive Tape (reversible mending)

  • Archival document repair tape
  • Filmoplast P and P90 tape
  • Kapco EZ Bind tape

Hinge Tightening

  • Knitting needles or plexiglass rods
  • Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA)

Endsheet Replacement

  • End papers (70-80 lb weight acid-free/alkaline text paper)
  • Sandpaper
  • Acid-free lens tissue paper
  • Wheat starch paste
  • Cotton swabs [wooden]

Spine Replacement (Re-back)

  • Inlay (70-80 lb weight acid-free/alkaline text paper)
  • Book cloth (LBS conservation cloth 3 or 4 inch wide roll)

Re-case in Original Cover

  • Inlay (70-80 lb weight acid-free/alkaline text paper)
  • Acid-free lens tissue paper
  • Super cloth or white cambric
  • Paper lining