We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of Cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
  • 2 views
  • Edit

Book Conservator

2019-08-20 14:38
“I like old things. And I like them to look old, but just be preserved and function.”
 Jeff Peachey has been conserving books for more than 25 years. 

 “What keeps me going is want to keep all this context to the text.”

 Once a poet, he fell in love with books when he was putting together a book of poetry. 

 For him though, book conservation is more mechanical than artistic.

 “I’m really interested in seeing those kinds of granular nuts and bolts details and how they use the hammer to back the spine or somebody had made a mistake.”

 And when he can’t find a tool he needs, he makes it himself. 

He said what amazes him the most are the skills that went into making these old books.

 Those skills have been lost, he said, because people don’t make books on the scale they used to. 

 “A well made book can last a very long time, longer than all of us put together..
They're remarkable machines to manage these. It's almost a perfect organic thing that a book can function. Thousands of years”

 As conservator, it is not about replacing the old with the new. It’s about preserving the history of the books and their monetary value. 

 “So the more we know about the material context of information, the more that's going to give us, more information on the future.”

 Even though reading digitally is more popular now, he thinks that in the future, people will realize the values of books.

 “People are going to kind of rediscover what a wonderful thing a book is, as compared to reading digitally or some other way. So I think it will come back at some point.”

 Awaiting that day, he will continue with his work for as long as he can. 

 And hoping that it will happen before all the old books are gone.