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In the age of the iPad, old books are valued more than ever. Your family heirlooms may include religious texts, photo albums, journals, or treasured editions of favorite authors. If one of these books becomes
damaged through age, wear, or accident, you may ask a conservator to restore the book.

But when you receive the conservator’s condition report and treatment proposal—a document that describes the book’s state of health and the recommended steps involved in repairing it—you may be baffled by some of the
terminology. What’s a paste-down? What does “guarding” mean?

Part one of this article will guide you through the specialized terms used to describe book structure. Part two will do the same for terms used in book conservation.

CCAHA’s Preservation Resources provide information on a range of preservation topics from assessing priorities, to preparing collections for moving, to emergency preparedness.  This short fact sheet is targeted to staff in collecting institutions or others who are involved in collections care activities.

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