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!
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
The start of Fall has been a busy and productive time for the lab. We’ve been engaged in workshop opportunities with the Ohio Preservation Council, have started training two new lab volunteers, and now we are in the news! Check out two great articles from two great publications – the University of Cincinnati UC Magazine and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s LibraryLinks.
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.
The Preservation Lab offers a suite of services to our parent institutions, including conservation, storage and handling, pest management, and environmental monitoring. Recently we got to flex both our physical and mental muscles, assisting the Public Library with a special collections move. While there were many interesting objects that required special attention during the relocation, a collection of locally and historically significant oversized posters presented a fun and exciting challenge.
At the end of July the State Library of Ohio, with the support of IMLS, organized a two day workshop called Preservation Boot Camp. The workshop covered a myriad of preservation topics – conservation, reformatting, storage and handling, renovation, disaster recovery, and many more. While I took away a ton of ideas from the two day experience, and met dozens of colleagues that I hope to work with in the future, there was one particular tip and trick I just couldn’t wait to institute at our lab ASAP — the Pocket Response Plan (PReP) http://www.statearchivists.org/prepare/framework/prep.htm.
This past week the preservation lab hosted 3 classes with 3rd year fashion design majors.
The goal of the sessions were to familiarize the students with the basic parts of the book, explore different types of enclosures, and demonstrate how these simple structures can be “tweaked” to produce a wide range of compelling forms.
Veronica discusses a bound items with exposed sewing.
Imagine a finely engraved map of London, circa 1749. The map is comprised of separate sheets that are mounted 8 across and 3 down. The 24 sheets are printed on cotton rag paper and mounted on coarsely woven linen. The map has been repaired, mounted, and framed by professional conservators. Though the conservation work was done over 20 years ago, the work is in-line with current best practices and the map has lovingly been cared for by the owners in the intervening years.
Lovingly cared for by Keith and Betty Stewart. Paper signs stating ” PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH” did the trick since 1996.