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Process

Rebinding

The Royal Bindery in Windsor Castle specialises in the conservation and restoration of books, manuscripts and archival material. The team also creates new work, such as state gift presentation bindings, continuing practices used since the reign of George III when the Bindery was founded in what was then Buckingham House in London. This dual role ensures that the department maintains a skill base of traditional hand bookbinding, edge gilding and gold finishing (the decoration on leather book covers) at the same time as employing modern conservation techniques. Members of staff are also actively involved in contemporary craft and design binding.

The Royal Library & Royal Archives holdings are rich in historically significant items of great variety. The Bindery works to stabilise and repair books with as little interference to their original structures as possible but will, if necessary, produce full facsimile rebindings to maintain visual continuity. Emphasis is on the use of high quality materials and appropriate period techniques to preserve and make accessible a working collection. In addition, the Bindery uses its expertise to conserve and restore other leather-based objects throughout the Royal Collection, Household and Palaces.

The Bindery advises and forms policy on long-term collection care and housing. It also manages conservation provision for digitisation programmes, supports exhibitions and displays, and furthers understanding of the collections through academic/professional lectures and publications.