Some of our recent interesting conservation projects have involved housing. Not only do we repair damaged books and paper items in the conservation lab, but we also make many boxes and enclosures to house them, and occasionally our box-making expertise is called upon for rather unusual items.
For example, from the Abraham Joshua Heschel Papers: a rock. Little is known about this small piece of rock except that it is a souvenir of a trip that Heschel made to Israel. The rock was originally wrapped in a newspaper. Tedd Anderson made a four-flap enclosure for the newspaper and a box to house both the rock and the newspaper enclosure.
Rachel Penniman has been working on a set of Charles Dickens’s publications, the original short segments of his novels that came out in serial form. These serials had been housed in custom boxes that someone must have made for their personal collection. Although the boxes were attractive with leather spines and stamped titles, they were not safe for the serials. The boxes caused creases and abrasions each time one of the pamphlets was removed or reinserted. Rachel made individual enclosures for each serial issue, and the enclosures were housed together in larger boxes, one for each title. Access to the serials is now much easier and safer.
The Digital Production Center (DPC) is in the process of scanning glass lantern slides of scenes of daily life in China made by Sidney Gamble in the early 20th century. Many of the slides are hand-colored, some have existing cracks, and all are very fragile because of the glass support. Erin Hammeke has been working to stabilize their housings. Each slide is housed in a labeled four-flap paper wrapper, and in the case of cracked slides, she adds a piece of mat board as an extra stiffener.
The conservation department creates housings for circulating collections as well. Mary Yordy has an upcoming housing project for the fascinating new book S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. The book is beautifully made to look old and well used with notes in the margins and numerous loose paper inserts. Mary is planning to make a box for the book that will prevent loose materials from falling out and getting lost, and the book will be kept in the locked stacks. While we chose to leave the inserts untreated and as published, the Preservation Lab at the Public Library of Cincinnati/University of Cincinnati decided on another route with this title.
More images of these and other housing projects can be seen on Flickr.
Post contributed by Grace White, Conservator for Special Collections, as part of our ongoing “In the Conservation Lab” series.
Search The Devil’s Tale
Tag Cloud2011acquisitions 2012acquisition 2013acquisition advertisements advertising African American history archives artistsbooks civilwar conservation diaries digitization documentary dorisduke dukehistory durham durhamhistory economists events film fullframe games Haiti Heschel holidays human rights letterhead literature longcivilrights madmen Mad Men madmenmondays medicine movediary move prep movinghom photography recipes renovation rubensteinstaff scrapbooks sports students women's history zines
The Devil’s Tale Archive
- Internationalist Books and Community Center records, 1960s-2011. August 26, 2014
- Marcel Montassut papers, 1914-1975. August 21, 2014
- Bengal Chamber of Commerce letter of gratitude to Daniel Mackinlay upon his retirement, 1860 February 21. August 21, 2014
- John Symonds Breedon diaries and account books, 1736-1808. August 18, 2014
- Rosina Lyon letters, 1846-1849. August 15, 2014
- Walden; or, Life in the woods August 22, 2014
- Precationes ex veteribus orthodoxis doctoribus : ex ecclesiae hymnis et canticis, ex Psalmis denique Dauidis collectae, et nunc recens recognitae & auctae August 8, 2014
- The danger of premature interment : proved from many remarkable instances of people who have recovered after being laid out for dead, and of others entombed alive, for want of being properly examined prior to interment : also a description of the manner the ancient Egyptians, and other nations preserved and venerated their dead, and a curious account of their sepulchral ever burning lamps and mausoleums : likewise, the pernicious effects of burying in the body churches, and confined church-yards pointed out, whereby many valuable lives have been lost to the public, and their friends : selected from historical records August 7, 2014
- Conseils aux femmes de quarante ans August 7, 2014