Monthly Archives: June 2015

Just Can’t Get Enough

For some of us here at the Lab it’s not enough to work with books all day, we even work with them in our spare time!

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County collaborates with the Cincinnati Book Arts Society every year to put on Bookworks, an exhibit celebrating the work of book artists. We’re thrilled that four staff members (we’ll always think of Pat as staff, no matter how long he’s retired!) have pieces in Bookworks XVI .

Pat Schmude’s leather-bound “Zombies,” made with techniques learned from bookbinder and conservator Jeff Peachey during a 2013 workshop at the Lab on Eigteenth-Century French Bookbinding.Zombies“The Red Door” is a piece Pat worked on over many years, adding a detail here and there when the inspiration came to him. All of us at the Lab fell in love with it. Don’t you just want to walk through that door and see what new world it takes you to?
RedDoorJessica Ebert’s “Curiosities Behind Glass” shows off the carousel form we learned during our December “fun day” to great effect.
Curiiosities Behind GlassAshleigh’s “Study of Impermanence of Early Contact Printing Photography” is research and binding skill rolled into one!ImpermanenceStudyShe also saved neat old spine linings she had to remove during treatments over her years as a student worker and turned them into a nifty and whimsical documentary for “Spines.”
SpinesMy own wee accordion book, “Wholehearted” uses techniques I learned for toning paper for treatments.Wholehearted
If you’re in the area check out the show in the Atrium at the Public Library’s Main Branch. It’s up from June 10th to September 6th, 2015.

Veronica Sorcher (PLCH) — Conservation Technician

Preservation Scholarship/Grant Opportunities

FYI for our colleagues:  There are two exciting new scholarship/grant opportunities made possible by two organizations in which many of the staff of the lab are card carrying members!

The first is the MRCG (description and text from our lab conservator, Ashleigh Schieszer)  –mrcg_logoThe Midwest Regional Conservation Guild is a 35 year old organization that connects conservation professionals together in the Midwest. Each year the Guild gets together for an annual meeting at a different location around the region. As a pre-program intern, I attended my first conference in 2008 in Kansas City where I found the group of professionals extremely fun, friendly and approachable. Conferences are always a laid back environment, partly due to the fact that it’s a much smaller group than an AIC meeting. This also makes the annual meeting a great place for Emerging Conservation Professionals to present. As a pre-program intern, I helped Heugh-Edmondson present about a KY wallpaper conservation project and nobody even booed me off the stage!

If you’re a pre-program student, current graduate student, or recent graduate and are interested in attending an MRCG annual meeting, there is now a new scholarship opportunity! The 2015 annual meeting will be held in Ann Arbor, MI at the Kelsey Museum. There will be regional lab tours at the University of Michigan, Henry Ford, and Detroit Institute of Arts in addition to the regular talks. The deadline for online submissions is July 31st. The award covers hotel room cost, registration fees, and a 1 year membership to the guild.

Check it out at

The second is the OPC (description and text from the OPC website)  –246_OPC_Logo_V2_FINAL_hires

The Ohio Preservation Council serves as a coalition of preservationists, conservators, librarians, archivists, curators, records managers, the institutions they represent, and other concerned citizens who recognize the serious threat to documentary heritage. The Council’s mission is to provide a network for preservation education and to support preservation activities within the state of Ohio. The Council believes in cooperative, state-wide efforts across geographic and professional lines are needed to meet preservation challenges.

The Ohio Preservation Council recognizes the value of professional meetings, conferences, and other educational opportunities to advance the field of preservation and provide a forum to voice the need for ongoing stewardship of our documentary heritage. When possible, the OPC shall provide financial support to individuals to develop skills, expand knowledge, and gain experience relevant to the mission and goals of the Ohio Preservation Council.  Applications are due the first Mondays in September and March.

Individuals requesting financial support must meet the following criteria:
• Working in the state of Ohio OR pursuing an advanced degree or certificate in the state of Ohio;
• Working directly in the field of preservation OR pursuing a degree or certificate within the field;
• Request is for professional development that clearly relates to preservation issues and/or preservation skills;
• Have not received financial support from the OPC Grant within 3 calendar years.

Check out the grant information and application at

Shrink-wrap, a tool in the toolbox

The Preservation Lab is lucky to have a lot of equipment.  One of our more interesting pieces is a shrink-wrap machine.  We bring the machine out about once a year when we have a fair amount of bound materials that meet the following criteria:

  • part of the general circulating collection;
  • an item with a history of little or low use;
  • brittle paper, making rebinding or repair impossible or too time consuming;
  • replacements are not available or prohibitively expensive considering use.

Before the retirement of Pat Schmude, a UCL conservation technician in the lab for 28 years, we brought the machine up so that he could remind us of all the special things we need to do to make it work optimally — all the things you just don’t find in a manual but you know from 20+ years experience.

And of course we did have a little fun…here is my coffee mug shrink-wrapped.  I’m trying to give it up…so far I haven’t broken the seal!

Shrink collage

Clockwise – The finished product; Pat Schmude and Ashleigh Schieszer; Ashleigh, Jessica Ebert, and Pat; the coffee cup in question; Ashleigh and Jessica; and Chris Voynovich.

Holly Prochaska (UCL) — Preservation Librarian