Academic thesis

Nadine Becker: A General Atlas by William Faden Studies and Proposals about History, Conservation and Restoration Back
Language: Original   -   Translation
Abstract: The Masters thesis is based on a general atlas published 1808 in London by William Faden (1749-1736), an English map publisher and Geographer to His Majesty and the Prince of Wales. The heavily damaged atlas was provided as foundation for the thesis by Heritage Malta, the national agency for museums, conservation practice and cultural heritage. A conservation and restoration concept has been developed and completely realized. The emphases for the set up of the concept were discussions about the restoration of the tight back, about the preservation of historical repairs and the classification of the historic context. Details about the history of the artefact were investigated and a discussion about tight backs has been carried out. A comparative study between the atlas of Heritage Malta and a general atlas by William Faden of the David Rumsey Collection has revealed historical aspects of Faden’s work and the history of the artefact.


Keywords: Atlas, William Faden, tight backs, mechanism on books, Conservation concept, Restoration Concept
Table of contents: List of Figures iii
Abbreviations v
Definition of Terms v
1. Introduction 6
2. Historical Aspects 6
2.1. A brief History about Cartography until the End of the 18th Century 8
2.2. The Ideas of Atlases 12
2.3. Life and Works of William Faden (1749-1836) 13
2.4. History of the Artefact 17
2.4.1. Dating 17
2.4.2. Place of Publication and Binding 18
2.4.3. Way from London to Malta 18
2.4.4. Garrison Library 19
2.4.5. Museum of Archaeology 22
2.5. Comparative Study of Faden Atlases 24
2.5.1. Condition 24
2.5.2. Similarities 25
2.5.3. Differences 26
3. Documentation 29
3.1. Book Cover Analysis 29
3.2. Text-Block Analysis 35
3.3. Stitching and Spine Construction 38
3.4. Conclusion to the Historical Repairs 39
3.5. Condition 39
3.6. Damages: 40
4. Conservation and Restoration Concept 41
4.1. Feasibility of Minimal Intervention 41
4.2. Pest Control Treatment 42
4.3. Dismantling 43
4.4. Treatment of the Maps 43
4.5. Consolidation of the Book Cover 45
4.6. End bands 45
4.7. Boxing 45
5. Concept of the Spine Treatment 47
5.1. Tight Backs 48
5.2. Excursus of the most Important Developments of Book spine Constructions of the Second Half of the 18th and the Beginning of the 19th Century in North Europe 49
5.3. Mechanism at the book spine 51
5.3.1. Phenomena of mechanism: 51
5.3.2. Physical strains on book spines 54
5.3.3. Influencing factors of the mechanism on the book spine 55
5.3.4. Important interrelations for tight backs and their treatments 56
5.4. Diskussion 59
5.5. Concept 63
6. Interventions 65
7. Preventive Conservation 72
8. Conclusion 73
References 75
Materials and Suppliers 81
Appendices 82
Interview Protocol 83
Correspondence with Mr. David Rumesy via e-mail 87
Gathering Report 89
Map-list 92
Data sheet of Evacon-RTM 149
DVD with photos


  • academic institution: HAWK Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim/ Holzminden/Göttingen
  • kind of theses:  Masterarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Prof. Dr. Ursula Schädler-Saub
  • assistant Tutor:  Joseph Schiro
  • date:  2009
  • Language:  Englisch
  • pages:  153

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