The current binding dates from 1630 and was arranged by Archbishop James Ussher. This was the first time the four books it contains were bound as one volume. It is a blind-tooled, full leather binding sewn onto twisted tawed alum supports. Click the link below for a 3D scan of the Register courtesy of National Museums NI.View this item
The structure of the folios are carefully recorded so that the volume can be rebound exactly the same way.
The sections were sewn together with a double linen thread.
The 17th century binder has adjusted the method of sewing depending on the thickness of the section. Most sections are sewn individually (all-along) whereas in a couple of instances, smaller sections have been sewn two at a time (two-on).
From both the outside of the spine and the centre of the bifolio it is possible to see the tracks from beetles, burrowing in and making themselves at home in the Register.
Sand was used to blot ink. As the Register was written two centuries before the Ussher binding, the sand is probably from one of the later transcriptions.
Similarly, quill tips embedded in the gutter of the Register are likely to date from either the 18th or 19th century transcription.
Hairs of readers which have fallen out whilst consulting the Register have been retained with their location recorded.
Sometimes it is difficult to know the moment when something unexpected falls into the gutter. Flowers like this one are a little surprise and leave behind a trace of the person reading that page.
The paper substrate has felted as a result of mould damage. As they came loose, they were safely tucked into the gutter so they would not be lost. Again, their location was documented so they can be re-adhered in the right position.
The pages were then cleaned with a latex sponge, ready for treatment to consolidate the pages.