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
When the original Main Library at 629 Vine Street opened to the public in 1873, three beautiful and intricate stained glass windows graced one of the reading rooms in the building. In 1955, when the building was demolished, the windows were sold at auction, later to resurface as part of the decor of the Old Spaghetti Factory on Pete Rose Way. After the restaurant closed to make room for Paul Brown Stadium, the Library purchased the windows and began making plans to return them to the Main Library for the appreciation and enjoyment of our customers and staff. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends and the Annabel Fey Trust Fund, the three windows have now been re-created and restored to their original glory and will be on permanent display in the Main Library.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to dis-bind a bound edition of our school newspaper, send it off for digitization and then to create a clamshell box to house the single pages when they return. The process of dis-binding bound newspapers is a very delicate one. In this case, The News Record 1971-72, was no exception. Newspapers, by their very nature are meant to be read and thrown away. The paper they are printed on is not meant to last and it fades and becomes acidic and brittle very rapidly. The solution to preserving the paper’s information back in the early 70’s, before digitization was even a thought, was to bind a couple years’ worth of the News Record together in a hard cover much like a large book. This was a good method for preserving a piece of U.C.’s history, however the binding was meant to be permanent and no thought was given to reversing the process at a later date.
When you work for a large institution sometimes the work one does becomes very specialized and segmented. Often times preservation librarians do very little bench work, while the staff they work alongside spend the majority of their time at the bench or evaluating materials in preparation for the bench. Of course this is necessary to keep all the pieces of a lab in motion; but because one of the most important jobs of a preservation librarian is to advocate for the ongoing stewardship of the collection, and by extension the physical work done in the lab, it is important to me that I spend time at the bench.
A little math problem for you :
One of the trickiest things about making a cloth-covered clamshell box happens at the very end when all the pieces finally go together. You’re applying a fair amount of adhesive to a fairly large surface area and the moisture in it inspires the boards of the case and the trays to want to curve. To suppress this natural tendency and make sure the pieces stick together properly we have to use a lot of weights.
For library items that cannot stand by themselves because of their shape or size, placing them in an enclosure is a good solution to the problem. In this case we made a custom clamshell box with filler because the item, a book on monograms, is shaped like a spade.
This blog explains how we construct an acid-free enclosure to protect a book that is too small to stand alone on a shelf. The dimensions of the book in question are approximately 2” X 3”. As a rule University of Cincinnati Libraries requires that all shelved items be at least 5” X 7”.