1st Ed. Little Women Book Repair
Date: 1868 Owner: Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library, Special Collections Exhibit: Little Women at 150 Measurements: 120 x 173 x 32 mm Previous Condition: Book’s text is broken in half, need to repair and stabilize for exhibit Treatment:Total re-back, re-sewn text block For the 150th anniversary of the first printing of Louisa May Alcott’s book “Little Women” (1868, Roberts Bros.). Brigham Young University put together a small exhibit in her honor, I was able to perform work on several volumes of Little Women. I did conservation work on the University’s first editions that were printed in America and England and the second edition in France. The American version, the first of the three, the text was broken in two places. After cleaning the spine, the entire text block needed to be re-sewn. As I sewed it, I read the pages with familiar words and stories. I always feel a part of the history of the book I am repairing, I try with the utmost care to preserve it the way they would have wanted it. The England version (1869) also needed a total re-back of the spine but did not need to be re-sewn. This version had as its spine lining, a handwritten invoice from the printing office. Fun to see the things they never thought we’d see! The French version (1873, second edition) was actually in the best shape, just a little cosmetic treatment on the spine. I love the picture of the title page, “Petites Femmes”. Little Women has for a long time been on my top ten list of favorite books, can you imagine the joy I had when I got to work on, not just one, but three editions of Little Women? I absolutely loved these projects and the exhibit that was up for the occasion. Dream come true! One of the reasons I love this book so much is I grew up in a household with 4 sisters, then when I got married I had 4 girls of my own, no sons. The bond between sisters is strong, dynamics are sometimes hard, but wonderful, to say the least! Little Women exhibition notes.