The first Enabling Project underway is to review the bound monographs that are housed across five floors of stacks to determine if they are in good enough condition to move without causing damage.
Our student assistants are reviewing each book to find broken or loose sewing, loose or detached boards or spines, detached pages, etc. If it has any of these things they put in an envelope or set it aside if it needs a custom enclosure because it is too heavy or big to fit in an envelope.
Jennifer, the project manager for this section, then goes through each section after the students have finished and looks for any missed items. She is moving the books that need boxing to a holding area so we can bring them down in manageable batches. Jennifer is also our registrar and supply manager, so she is pulling double duty these days as the enabling project is bringing so much work into the lab (thanks Jennifer!!).
We chose Tyvek envelopes because they are inexpensive, flexible, and can be easily sealed. Each envelope will have the item’s bar code and a label that says “return to conservation after use.” It will then be sealed so that the contents (and any loose parts) stay safe for the move.
We commonly use envelopes for items that need a minimum amount of protection or for items that have loose or missing parts that need to be kept together until we can repair them. When a book in an envelope is called for by a patron, the envelope is opened and the item sent to conservation after the patron is done with it. At that point we will review it for repair or a new enclosure.