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.
Last month our lab hosted a little workshop, taught by talented conservation technician, Chris Voynovich (PLCH), on collapsible book cradles. The workshop came about after our conservator shared images of Elizabeth Rideout’s collapsible book cradle with us and explained how beneficial this would be for the special collections holding libraries to have cradles like this on hand. Chris, who is usually the go-to technician in the lab for tricky enclosures, jumped at the opportunity to create a cradle. So without any instructions available he made a collapsible, adjustable cradle based on the images of Rideout’s cradle online. Chris then wrote up some instructions for a standard size cradle that fits most books. With the instructions on hand we went ahead and planned the workshop, inviting colleagues from both UCL and PLCH.
I love to design and make things work! Recently I have had the opportunity to kick around a new contraption for displaying or otherwise supporting books, the collapsible book cradle.
These guys are handy for keeping a book stable for viewing which greatly reduces the wear and tear on the object through excessive handling. The cradle is also useful as a support for a book in delicate condition for the conservator or tech to perform repairs.
This particular cradle design also has the feature to collapse to a book like shape which can be stored on the book shelf next to the other books when not in use. Thus the name “The collapsible book cradle”.
Since creating one from a web blog by Elissa Campbell, I have made one for a miniature book (it’s so cute!) and several to distribute to various departments. I’ve just finished one for an oversize book that was just treated in the lab for the UCL’s Classics Library.
In about 2 weeks I am going to be holding a workshop to make the cradles here at the lab. I think these are a great versatile tool easy to make and easy to store when not in use.
Chris Voynovich (PLCH) — Conservation Technician
Several times a semester UCL’s Reference and Instructional Services department hosts 1st Fridays @4, a fun activity (with food!) that engages and educates students/patrons. When Pam Bach, the lead coordinator of 1st Fridays, asked the Preservation Lab if we would be interested instructing a simple, fun bookbinding workshop we jumped on the opportunity. Being in the basement of the library can be a bit isolating, so any chance we get to interact with the students and patrons is very appealing to us. We decided to show the participants how to make an adhesive-bound miniature book with a paper case. We chose this because it would be easy for people new to bookbinding to construct, we had all the supplies we needed to prep for the workshop, and we already had a little experience prepping and teaching the structure since we made these cute little books during our student and volunteer fun day in November.
Making a blank book can be a lot of fun and it’s fairly easy to do if you have the right equipment. A blank book can be almost any size, shape and color that you want it to be. It can be used as a sketchbook, diary, photo album or just about anything you can think of. The type of book I am making is called a quarter binding because approximately one quarter of the cover is cloth while the rest of the cover is paper.