Pre-coated repair materials are sheets of materials that have been coated with cellulose ether, starch, proteinaceous, and synthetic adhesives then dried for later use. The dried adhesive can then be reactivated with water, solvent, and/or heat. Some of the advantages are that extremely thin support paper can be more easily used, little or no moisture comes into contract with the original, the repairs are faster, and the conservator has more options to customize the adhesive, repair sheet and color to match the needs of the original. Pre-coated repairs are being used in libraries, archives, museums, regional conservation centers, and private practice to conserve both circulating library collections and special collections.
As part of the 2009 Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group (LCCDG) of the Book and Paper Group panel “Library Collections Conservation 2.0—New Directions. New and/or Adaptive Materials, Methods and Technologies Used in the Conservation Treatment and Housing of Library Collections” book conservators Priscilla Anderson (Harvard University Library) and Sarah Reidell (now University of Pennsylvania Libraries) shared the results of their 2009 Conservation DistList survey of the methods in common practice by the conservation community for creating and applying pre-coated repair materials. Their presentation and handouts have since expanded into hands-on professional development workshops held at museums and libraries for over 120 conservators (see Teaching for more information).