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Penn State University Libraries

Collections Care Services

The Collections Care unit offers stabilizing treatments for library materials, whether new or in various stages of deterioration.  Our green preservation flyer, established in 1993 (revised 1998) serves as mechanism for recording treatment, reformatting and binding decisions. 

Click on the green flyer or the list to the right for an explanation of each option.  Copies of the green flyer are available from the Acquisitions Department or the Bindery Unit.  Once you've made your treatment decision insert the green flyer into your item.  Contact Collections Care or the Bindery should you have any questions. 

checklist for collectioncare servicezPicture CoverRetain FlapsMount CoverMusic PartPhase BoxPortfoliopamphlet binderpressboard binder3-ring binderdeacidificationencapsulationkapcoshrinkwrapmendcut pagestip-inglue flapspocketothermusic scoreretain allmark as isbindclothReproduction paper copyOther (use below to explain request)

Mark as is

Choose this when no treatment or commercial binding is needed.


Please check this box if you would like your item sent for commercial binding.
Additional options are found below Bindery on the green form.


Most non-brittle volumes with damaged covers, spines or hinges could be sent for commercial rebinding. Collections Care staff will determine best treatment based on potential use, shelving limitation and retention.

book with pockets

In-House Pocket

Acid-free pockets attached to the inside back cover to accommodate loose material.


Collections Care uses the Bookkeeper's™ Deacidification Spray System for both single items or volumes no more than 3 lbs. 

Deacidification is a process whereby library materials are treated to neutralized harmful acids in the paper in order to safeguard the paper from further acidic deterioration. The treatment extends the life remaining in the paper, but does not reverse any deterioration that may have taken place already. Depending on the type of paper, the useful life of the book can be extended three to five times longer than if left untreated.

In January 1999, the University Libraries launched its mass deacidification service. Based on years of testing and experimenting with various deacidification processes, Preservation Technologies, L.P's Bookkeeper process was chosen as our preferred method for treating acidic materials.

For complete details on our program and operational procedures, see “Combating whole-book deterioration: the rebinding & mass deacidification program at the Penn State University Libraries", Library Resources & Technical Services, volume 43, number 3 (July 1999), pages 170-177. Information about the Bookkeeper system is available from the Preservation Technologies' web site.


Using the Ultrasonic Welder for Polyester Film Encapsulation, we can seal fragile materials between sheets of polyester film, which support brittle paper to avoid wear and tear and keeps it from being exposed to air which may cause further damage. The encapsulator can secure any document from the size of a postage stamp to a 42 inch oversized wall map. It is also capable of internal, spot, and free-form wells, allowing multiple documents and irregularly sized objects to be encapsulated in separate pockets on a single large polyester sheet.

book cover with kapco covering

Kapco Easy Cover  

Kapco is s clear self-adhesive polyester cover to extend the circulating life of your paperback book.

  • Non-acidic, permanent adhesive won‘t crack, yellow or dry out
  • Polyester
  • Gloss finish
  • Non-acidic adhesive won’t crack, yellow or dry out
  • Trim each piece to the size you need, peel of adhesive backing and press sheets into place

In-house Repair

Volumes with minor spine damage, loose and broken hinges, torn or loose pages may be sent to Collections Care for review. The Collections Care staff will determine if an item should receive in-house treatment or be sent for commercial binding based on the item's potential use, shelving limitation, potential hazard and retention. Factors may include other available formats, i.e. electronic, microfilm.

Paper mending, repairing simple tears

Collections Care uses archival mending tape on virtually any type of cut or tear, except for items of artistic or historical value.  If you would like additional training please contact us.

  1. Tear off a piece of archival tape as long as the tear. If repairing an edge tear, you can use a piece twice as long as the tear, folding it around the edge of the paper to strengthen the tear on both sides.
  2. Gently place the piece of archival tape on the tear.  Carefully tack the tape in place, starting at one end of the repair and working to the other
  3. Lay a piece of wax paper or spun polyester on top of the tear and smooth down with a bone folder. When the tape is in place, carefully use scissors to trim any excess or overhang.

Sue Hassing cutting pages

Cut Pages
We use a thin blade knife to safely cut apart perforated and/or folded pages. If you would like to learn this technique or need additional information or training, please contact Collections Care.

repairing a book

Tipping in a Single Page

Tipping-in is one way to reattach a detached page or replacement page. Tipping-in is not used to put a entire book back together. If too many pages are loose from the binding, the book should be resewn, sent to the bindery, or replaced. "Too many pages" can vary from book to book, but generally more than 3-5 pages is too many.

Tipping-in is generally used on text blocks that are adhesive bound with tightly glued spines. The tight spine keeps the book from opening flat and will help to hold the tipped-in page in place.

Each book will accept a repaired or replaced page in a different way. Some pages will sit easily into the hinge area, others will slide in from the top or bottom of the text block. Practice putting the page into the book before gluing to see how the page goes in the best.

Often a repaired page cannot be replaced as far back into the spine as when the book was new. If the edges of the repaired or replacement page extend beyond the text block, the page can tear and need future repair.

Collections Care will determine best treatment options for loose pages. Please contact us should you have additional questions.

gluing a page into book

Gluing in Flaps

Collections Care uses archival glue to secure your paperback book flaps if you choose to have the inside flap information retained.

Mend/Other (see Special Instructions)

Any minor repair needs not specified on the green Preservation Flyer would fall under this category.  Please feel free to elaborate using the blank space on the bottom of the flyer.  Also provide contact name and phone number should Collection Care staff have additional questions.