Saving an Old Bible
Preserving an Old Family Bible
If you are lucky enough to have a family Bible that has passed down through generations, you'll want to take good care of it. Time and much handling over the years may mean the Bible is about to fall apart. What can be done to save it? How should it be stored? These questions came up over and over when I was a librarian. People want to save their fragile and precious family Bible, but don't know where to start.
Graphic from Zazzle: Front page Old Luther Bible by aapshop
I'll share with you what I learned on this topic and hope you can keep that Bible safe to pass along to future generations in your family.
Why Save an Old Bible?
Why Not Just Buy a New One?
An old Bible may have been in the family for generations. Perhaps you remember your grandfather reading aloud each evening from that Bible. Maybe it has pages with important family dates like weddings and births recorded in it.
Bibles Have Special Meaning to Their Owners
Tips for What to Do with an Old Bible
I've learned a lot about this topic from an online group I belong to (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness). I'll distill those here for your convenience.
- The DAR has a committee that preserves your family info from an old Bible. Copy the info and send it to them and they will put it in a book so future generations can have your information. The Bible never leaves your hands.
- One lady bought some archival boxes for her husbands' family Bibles, since they were sitting on the shelf and she didn't want them getting moved around and possibly damaged. They were from the mid 1800's and not in the best of shape to start. Now they are safe from wear and tear.
- Put the family information from the Bible onto an online site like Family Search or Ancestry to make it available for future generations.
- Paper has acid and can turn yellow. Spray important pages with archival mist to help them last longer.
Protect a Bible by Storing It in a Special Box
See the Steps in Rebinding an Old Bible - Video Tutorial
Book Repair and Binding - on DVD and books
Learning the craft of bookbinding is much easier when you have visual instruction like this DVD.
A Photo Tutorial for Repairing a Bible
- Step by step instructions on How to repair a Bible Cover or book Spine Properly for a book that you
Here is a step by step instruction guide of how to repair a Bible or other book you want to keep with broken spines or torn loose bindings. When a book has survived for a hundred years or more, it becomes quite fragile and needs special care.
How to Repair the Spine of a Bible
- How to repair a spine on a child's Bible (or other b...
It is my goal to save the world, one book repair at a time. On this page I show the visitor how to make a simple book repair to a child's book (a Bible to be exact). The spine cover came loose from this book and it was a very easy repair to be made.
My Childhood Bible
My sister recently gave me a small white Bible. The fragile book was in danger of losing its cover as the spine had dried out.
It surprised me that she had it and had saved it for me. Inside it was incribed with my name and "from Grandpa and Grandma McGhee, Christmas 1955." The little Bible is 59 years old.
I'm not going to attempt repairing it, since it won't be in use. I'll get a small box to keep it safe and dry inside.
Save the Art if the Bible Is Damaged Beyond Repair
You can frame some of the decorative pages from the Bible and hang them on the wall.
More Information on Caring for an Old Bible
- How to Store Old German Bibles | eHow.com
Store your German Bible properly to reduce the chances of damaging the artifact.
- How to Protect an Antique Bible | eHow.com
If you have an old family Bible, or one you picked up from a flea market or an auction, you will want to do what you can to protect it. Though you cannot store your Bible under the same...
Book Repair How-To and Supplies
Practice some of the techniques first on some other less important books before attempting to repair a family Bible. It takes some practice to know how much glue to apply and get a feel for the repair techniques.
PH Neutral Adhesive for Bookbinding
Acid is an enemy to old paper. This PH neutral adhesive helps fix the old Bible without damaging it further with the wrong kind of glue.
Using Glue to Repair a Damaged Book
- Repair a Book with Glue!
New to book repair? This article outlines some common issues with glue-bound books and useful approaches to repairing them with inexpensive craft glue and a handful of rubberbands.
Videos That Guide You Through Book Repairs
- DIY A Book Repair Video Showcase
Watch experts make repairs to books. These are repairs that can be done by amateur book menders, as well. Types of repairs: torn pages, loose covers and others.
How to Mend a Page in a Book
- DIY: How to Repair a Torn Page in a Book
Children, and even some adults, can be hard on books and sometimes damage them accidentally. Yes, a lot of you might read books digitally on a Kindle or other e-reader, but most of you secretly still love to hold a real book in your hands. I have...
If You Don't Want to Tackle Repairs, Take It To a Professional Book Repair Person
- Professional Book Preservation Companies
I recommend on my Book Care and Repair page, that you have a professional book restoration artisan repair valuable or antique books that you have in your collection. Below you will find several links to companies or individuals that I have read...
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Protect a Bible with a Bible Cover
The original cover may be shabby, but this protects it and allows continued use of that vintage Bible.
More Vintage Bibles That Need Preserving
© 2011 Virginia Allain