One of the treasures I was recently asked to prepare for display was a book called The Smallest Book in the World. The library owns two copies printed by German typographer, Josua Reichert. The tiny book contains typography that was uniquely designed specifically for the binding. Each page contains a CMYK colored alphabet letter in an exquisitely designed font. While not currently the smallest book in the world, it is probably the smallest traditionally printed edition!
In April the Provost Office awarded the lab funds to purchase paper making equipment through the Third Century Faculty Research Materials Grant. Over the next six months the lab intends to establish a workflow for paper making so that we may begin producing our own archival quality papers for conservation treatments. With the grant monies we purchased a Hollander beater in July, and yesterday the other pivotal piece of equipment arrived, a hydraulic press. The beater masticates fibers, that with water, create a fiber slurry that is poured into a mould. Each mould forms a single sheet of paper that is then pressed to remove the excess water – further bonding the fibers and creating a smooth surface.
More information as we begin our experimentation!
Holly Prochaska (UC) — Preservation Librarian
You may recall that back in July I blogged about these two beauties that came to the Lab for custom enclosures. They both returned to PLCH at the beginning of September in their custom enclosures, so I thought I’d share what type of enclosures we came up with to address all the fragile elements of these particular artists’ books. Continue reading
If you read our last blog post you know all about the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s collection of music scores we’re working on here at the Lab. Check out the frankenscores we received in the latest batch – just in time for Halloween!
Veronica Sorcher (PLCH) — Conservation Technician
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has recently set a plan in motion to digitize a collection of music scores. But before they can be digitized, the scores need to cataloged at the item level so metadata can be added to the digital files that are uploaded to the Virtual Public Library. But first, they are traveling to the lab to receive stabilization, to improve legibility, and rehousing. There are more than 200 boxes in the collection, each containing fifty or more scores, so this will be an ongoing project for many months to come. Because there are so many, and the Library would like to have them digitized as soon as possible, the decision was made to keep the treatments minimal –enough to stabilize the materials and render them more legible but no more.
While all the books, documents, and objects that we receive in the lab are interesting and exciting, artists’ books are definitely a crowd favorite, especially amongst the technicians. When Holly and Ashleigh come back from the PLCH rare books meeting and announce they’ve brought back some artists’ book we all get a little excited and know that there are probably some fun cloth covered clamshell boxes in our future. Last week when the techs met with Ashleigh, our conservator, to discuss upcoming projects there was quite a bit of oohing and ahhing when she unwrapped and assembled the two artists’ book they had brought back to the Lab for enclosures.
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) –The 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.
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 http://opc.ohionet.org/opcjoomla/resources/opc-grant.
We love preservation. Of course we do. And as people who love preservation, we naturally love Preservation Week! Truly, we do. We love it so much that we take to the streets and invite people over to share it with us. We were so excited that we decided to start early this year, with live technical demonstrations in the mornings leading up to the big day. We wanted people to see what we were up to, ask lots of questions, and learn more about what we do.
We showed off the past year’s work, including some excellent pieces done by our pre-program volunteer, Catarina Figueirinhas. Everyone’s favorite, the hot stamper, made a return appearance. We topped off the festivities with a raffle for a book, handmade by one of our students, and of course, cookies (we don’t have open houses for the sweets, but they are a nice bonus!). We had such a great time with all of our friends and colleagues, and as always, we look forward to doing it again next year.
Hyacinth Tucker (UCL) — Binding Processor
One of the perks of being on UC Libraries’ Exhibits Committee, besides working with a fantastic group of people, is being able to share and promote the interesting things we are doing here in the Lab. The most recent exhibit I curated for the committee is entitled “Preserving the Past for the Future” and showcases a variety of UCL and PLCH special collection materials that have been treated in the Lab over the last year and a half. As the conservation technician who performs the bulk of the photo documentation for the Lab, I thought sharing these “before”, “after” and often “during” photos alongside the information about the treatments would make this exhibit more visually descriptive for the public, who are primarily UC students. This exhibit, which was so beautifully brought to life by Melissa Cox Norris, director of library communications, and Amanda Jackson, former communications co-op design student, is displayed on the 5th floor of Langsam Library and the full online exhibit created by Lisa Haitz, web developer, can be viewed via LiBlog at https://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/liblog/2015/04/preservation-exhibit/. I hope you get a chance to check it out and enjoy seeing a little bit of what we do here in the Preservation Lab.
Jessica Ebert (UCL) — Conservation Technician