As a farewell gift and appreciation for all the work and time dedicated to the University of Cincinnati, The Preservation Lab was asked to create a custom binding for an Album for the Provost and 29th President Beverly J. Davenport. UC Government Relations and University Communications provided the lab with single sheets printed with photographs of Dr. Beverly J. Davenport during her time at the University of Cincinnati.
To create the custom binding the single sheets had to be cut using one of our board shears. All the sheets were precisely cut to the same dimensions and a textblock was created.
Once the textblock was ready, endsheets and pastedowns were selected. In this case since this book was dedicated to our Provost and 29th President, the color of the endsheets where the colors of UC, red and black. A white paper was chosen as a pastedown.
Since the pages were single sheets, the finished book would need to have a simple structure: a double fan adhesive binding. This structure is perfect for a textblock of single sheets as it provides a strong binding that allows the text block to be opened almost flat without causing the pages to separate from each other and break free. The adhesive is pasted onto the spine of the text block with a double fanning technique, where the pages are fanned in both directions allowing the adhesive to reach about 1 mm into the text block pages. After the pages are fanned in both directions, the spine of the text block received a lining of Cambric Cloth to provide support and an attachment for the cover. The spine was also lined with a handmade paper further strengthen the spine and prevent it from breaking from heavy use.
Once the textblock was finished, the cover was created, a cloth cover quarter binding. To continue with the theme of UC colors, a marbled paper with red and black tones was chosen. A black cloth was chosen for the spine lining. The album received striped red stuck- on endbands.
After the cover was made and the textblock was cased in and the album was ready to receive a title. The title was created using the Lab’s hot stamper. Several titles were made using the same black cloth used on the spine. A silver title stamped on a black cloth was chosen, since it best matched the theme and colors of the cover.
And the final result:
The Lab deeply appreciated this opportunity to contribute to the farewell gift and wish our 29th President Dr. Beverly J. Davenport all the best.
Catarina Figueirinhas (UCL) — Senior Conservation Technician
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
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.“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?
Jessica Ebert’s “Curiosities Behind Glass” shows off the carousel form we learned during our December “fun day” to great effect.
Ashleigh’s “Study of Impermanence of Early Contact Printing Photography” is research and binding skill rolled into one!She 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.”
My own wee accordion book, “Wholehearted” uses techniques I learned for toning paper for treatments.
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
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.
Chris explaining the collapsible cradle and how it works.
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
If there’s one thing we really love, it’s sharing what we know with others. And one of the beauties of being in an academic setting is that opportunities to share sometimes fall right into our laps! We got a chance to play host to two classes of students from the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, who came to learn creative ways to present their work when they went out to hunt for jobs.
The one-hour sessions were packed with information and examples of staff work, from the simple to the sublime; in order to illustrate both what was possible at home with a few tools, and much more advanced projects to aspire to. The students were intrigued with what was presented to them, and asked thoughtful questions. They even promised to show us some of their work! (We have, as of this writing, already received our first image, and it is beautiful indeed.) We’re so glad they came; it’s always a pleasure!
Hyacinth Tucker (UCL) —- Binding Processor
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.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
First of all, you might be wondering. Why do conservation labs conduct photography?
The reason is because the most descriptive way for conservators to accurately document the physical changes made to an object during treatment is to photograph it.
In conservation, producing photographic documentation is a conservation professional’s ethical obligation. In conjunction with written documentation, the photographs help to more accurately and efficiently document the examination, scientific investigation, and treatment of special collection materials.
Afterwards, the photography becomes an important part of the treatment record for a rare object and it is permanently archived with the treatment report. This information is saved with the object in hopes of aiding future scholars and conservators in understanding an object’s aesthetic, conceptual, or physical historical characteristics.
Our student assistants and volunteers are a dedicated, hardworking group of individuals and they are invaluable to the Lab. They are constantly learning new treatments, expanding their preservation knowledge, and helping our Lab move forward and treat general collection items. For the students, this means they do all this while going to school full-time at the University of Cincinnati. So, every year we like to pick a day or two around the holidays to celebrate our students and volunteers and say “thank you” by treating them to a little bit of preservation-related fun. We appropriately call these our “student/volunteer fun days”.
We always pick an activity that will be enjoyable for the students/volunteers, but also benefit the Lab in some way. In the past this has included paste paper and paper marbling. For both we asked everyone to donate a portion of their papers to the Lab for our supply. This year for “fun day” we decided to demonstrate and create a selection of book structures with the idea that the people could expand their conservation skills and learn new techniques, and afterward the Lab would have a selection of models of the various structures.
Many times as I am performing tasks at the bench I begin to concentrate deeply on the materials, the tools, the work itself or a number of related subjects. Sometimes my imagination kicks in and I go to a completely weird place inside my head… One time I was removing the adhesive beneath a failed scotch tape repair and I began to roll the adhesive, testing its elasticity between my fingers before discarding it into a pile. I thought to myself, “this stuff has potential” and “it seems to have a life of its own”. Well, as I carefully stacked the discarded adhesive balls, they began to take shape… That was the beginning of Adhesive Man. I am strangely confident he will make future appearances around the Lab.
Chris Voynovich (PLCH) —- Conservation Technician