This probably includes lots more than is needed. But without bulk packages, it seemed the quickest and easiest way.
Here's what I did:
1) installed VL 5.9 Pseudo 1
2) made tarballs of each directory under /: # tar -pcjf bin.tar.bz2 bin ... and put them in a spot for safekeeping, in case I want a fresh chroot later
3) in my VL-59P1_chroot directory, I extracted those:
# tar -pxjf ../VL-59P1_chroot-files/bin.tar.bz2
(I didn't extract the usr/src files though: # tar --exclude src -pxjf ../VL-59P1_chroot-files/usr.tar.bz2 )
then entered the chroot environment by, in VL-59P1_chroot, # chroot . /bin/bash
4) ran ldconfig and fc-cache
5) installed requiredbuilder
It works okay so far.
(yeah, I know the compression/extraction instead of just copying sounds screwy ... and may have been, though I wondered if copying from one hard drive to another wouldn't be slower than tarring and extracting, as I wanted a compressed backup anyway.)