Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Waters, Peter ( 1930- )

An English bookbinder and conservator who studied bookbinding under William Matthews at the Guilford College of Art, Surrey after which he attended the Royal College of Art, London. He then worked for three years with Roger Powell before entering as a partner in the firm of Powell and Waters in 1956. In this same year, Waters succeeded Powell as lecturer in bookbinding at the Royal College of Art. From 1956 to 1971, he executed a number of bindings for private collectors museums. and presentation, and worked with Powell in the repair and restoration of a number of valuable books in the libraries of Trinity College, Dublin, Aberdeen and Winchester Universities. and others. In 1966 Waters served as consultant to the Biblioteca Nazionale Florence, Italy, as Technicial Director for the restoration of flood-damaged collections and was principally responsible for the design and incorporation of the restoration system employed. From 1968 to 1971 he was codirector with James Lewis of a research project at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, relating to the conservation of library materials. In 1971 Waters was appointed Restoration Officer in the Preservation Office of the Library of Congress. There he inaugurated new concepts and programs relating to the conservation of the Library's extensive collection of books manuscripts, maps, and other archival materials.

Waters' philosophy has been rooted in the Bauhaus tradition of "fitness for purpose" in design, which through his extensive knowledge of book structure has found expression ranging from the binding of individual books to the planning of comprehensive conservation measures culminating in his now widely followed concept of "phased preservation."

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