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2017@Hajicek.com

(816) 536-3142
“Since 1972, Hajicek has been studying Mormon origins.
Since 1981, he has been writing about rare Mormon documents.
Since 1991, half of all new discoveries in Mormon history have been by him.”

Books in my collection in custom made clamshell boxes

Conservation and Restoration

My books receive museum-quality conservation and restoration

I am uniquely qualified to care for your books and artifacts if you sell them to me, being a skilled curator of museum and archive-quality Americana. For over 90 years my family has owned factories manufacturing supplies for the professional artifact restoration business, so I am skilled with the care of rare objects. I have a system of preservation for important historical items that includes paying top prices to attract them from places like barns and attics, and a placement philosophy that ensures your treasures will be enjoyed by thousands of people for many years.

After all, a book is merely paper, ink, and leather. Most people see a more efficient use of capital than keeping deteriorating books in attics, basements, and barns “where moth and rust doth corrupt” (Matthew 6:19). Conscientious inheritors of rare books will desire to see them sold to a person who will expertly preserve them. I treat books with state-of-the-art methods to scientifically remove damaging tape or other unbefitting repairs, and properly restore leather bindings using the same materials and techniques as the original bookbinder; and also deacidify and use modern archival techniques for mending paper. (To otherwise cheaply rebind books in acidic materials with intrusive methods is destructive and will lessen the value.) Then I store the books at the correct temperature and humidity, in a fire-safe environment, with controls against insects, rodents, and floods. Finally, I make the books available so that many people can see them.

My books receive the care of several expert conservators, restorers, and bookbinders, who use the same materials and techniques as those used in the 1830s and 1840s.  No treatment is used that is not reversible.  Methods may include:

  •  Washing using modern chemistry

  •  Using enzyme solvents on adhesives

  •  De-acidification

  •  Mending of pages with single tissue fibers

  •  Re-sewing of gatherings

  •  Re-hinging with thin leather under original

  •  Filling leather with patches and putty

  •  Treating leather

  •  Cosmetic repairs using artist talent and replication

  •  Custom-making a clamshell book box

  •  Protecting the book in an acid-free environment

  •  Preserving the book with the correct temperature and humidity controls

  •  Safekeeping the book in a fireproof vault

I encourage book owners to sell me their books in any condition, rather than try to find a qualified conservator themselves.  Books can cost me anywhere from $400 to $4,000 for proper restoration after I buy them from you.

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1.  A first edition Book of Mormon with repaired hinges beneath original leather.

2.  A first edition Doctrine and Covenants with a difficult two-sided facsimile repair to missing text using two layers of Japanese tissue.

3.  A first edition Pearl of Great Price with a facsimile repair to a portion of the ornamental border.

4.  A first edition Hymn book, with half of the binding restored which was missing.

5.  A first edition Voice of Warning, entirely rebound using period materials.

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for a full sized image.

A.  Custom clamshell boxes holding copies of the first edition Book of Mormon.

B.  Custom clamshell boxes holding various early editions, including a first edition Doctrine and Covenants.

C.  Custom clamshell boxes holding a run of all of the early Pearl of Great Price and Bible editions.

D.  Custom clamshell boxes holding a run of early Mormon hymn books.

E.  Custom clamshell boxes holding large format newspapers, manuscripts, and art.

I have just a few examples of my binder’s hard work on this page.  If you want to see more books that have had preservation treatments, click on the links to various books and sets listed in My Collection.

Please do not try to arrange for book restoration yourself, and do not sell your books to someone without this level of care.  I will pay for the costs of restoration myself after I purchase your books.

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John Hajicek Email me: 2017@Hajicek.com
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All rights reserved. Revised 2017.

 
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