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Book Volume Project Digitisation

Supporting The London Library, we provide fragile volume book digitisation services that also required a number of their volumes to be disbanded before digitisation for future preservation and longevity of their collections, as well as expand access to the contents and therefore the history of the archive.

A small number of volumes received required disbanding. Disbanding requires extremely care to remov each page from its bindings to free the paper ready for digitisation.  The reason for this process was due to the typewritten text and written text being either on the edge of the binding or the margin was insufficient to digitise using conventional methods to include V cradle book scanning.

Justification for Disbinding

          Further damage and loss may be caused to the documents during use.  

      Further access to the historical content within the volumes may be limited due to their current state.  

      Chemical stability is affected by acid degradation and grime which may be accelerating oxidation to already vulnerable material.

Before digitising, it is very important to review each volume to determine the case binding. A default is a binding with a whipstitch text block, but different bindings require discussions on how best to separate with absolute care.

A whip stitch is a simple sewing stitch, in which the needle is passed in and out of the book in a series of stitches the circle the edge of the book. It is used for joining sections together creating a nice edge that prevents the book from unravelling.


Our process for disbinding is to cut the text block free from the case binding.  

We then cut the section sewing which will separate the sections, ensuring to keep the correct order. 

We carefully cut the whipstitches per section, separating each page. 

Each page is then placed into its correct order, in a labelled box ready for the next stage of digitisation.


Each book page is digitised using the best solution scanner for the paper type.  

Our archive suite holds many digitisation scanners from A1+ to A4, with a mixture of V-cradle scanners to flatbed and gentle roller fed beds.

1.      First, if any, we clean any dirty pages using brushes and/or a chemical sponge.  It is important to note that disbanded pages are already vulnerable due to the use of the bindings, so we take great care when surface cleaning and follow our clients recommendations.

2.       Paper inevitably has significant folds or creases that need to be flattened with a bone folder.

3.       We remove any attachments which include paper clips, pins, etc.

4.       We then make any small repairs necessary by using our client’s recommendation.


Our archival suit ensures to follow the National Archive Standards digitisation on all orders to ensure that all orders are future proofed, providing archival digital files that will withstand the longevity of long-term storage.  

Clients are also offered digital asset files in the output of JPEG for online viewing


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