Travel account with bast binding restored
April 5, 2012 Leave a comment
In December 2011 the article “Touching wild animals and other dangers in a library” presented some special bindings of books of the Africa collection of Frankfurt University Library. One of them was
Richard A. Bermann: Zarzura, die Oase der kleinen Vögel. Die Geschichte einer Expedition in die Libysche Wüste, Zürich: Füssli 1938, S 17/2991.
This travel account from the Austrian Richard A. Bermann alias Arnold Höllriegel has a bast binding made by local people in Madagascar (not in the region of the travel route): „Der Bast für den Einband wurde durch Eingeborene Madagaskars eigens für dieses Buch mit der Hand gewoben.“
However, time left it’s mark on the binding:
In January 2012 Manuela Keßler, from our restoration laboratory, repaired the binding. Bast was dyed and folded into small fibres. The threads were tied up to the exiting ones.
Missing parts at the back and the edges were amended.
The old boards were re-used and covered with orange Bugra paper.
Finally, a special box keeps it save for the future.
The Africa collection is very thankful for this laborious and skilful work of conservation.