New Life for Antique Books
Restoring a single book requires a month of work
Temnyshev repairs and restores ancient book volumes in the city of Dnipro. He starts by determining the cause of the damage. Then, the book is washed with a special soapy solution, soaked for three-to-four hours and washed with water. After that, the restoration process begins.
“Someone tried to pierce this book with a knife or some sort of axe. And on the last page, I’ve smoothed it out, you can see that the cuts are here, and they’re deep. This is hatred towards Ukrainian books, literature, and I think it is obvious,” Temnyshev said, displaying one.
Temnyshev is working to restore copies of the diary of iconic Ukrainian writer and poet Taras Shevchenko.
“Gluing the endpaper is always very emotional. It’s the last operation with this book. You could say it’s a farewell gesture,” Temnyshev said.
The books were published in 1927 – some 70 years after the writer’s death. Out of five thousand copies, only two are left – the others having been destroyed by Soviet authorities. Antique bookseller Kostiantyn Shevchenko bought the books at an auction.
“These journals, written by Shevchenko are unique and different from the rest of his works because they weren’t written to be published. He wrote this during the last year of his exile in Kazakhstan, in the Mangyshlak Peninsula,” Shevchenko said.
After a month of work, Temnyshev has almost finished restoring one of the unique journals. Now, the second copy is waiting to be restored.