Category Archives: Statistics

Happy 11th Birthday, Preservation Underground!

On this day in 2009 our blog was born! Looking back, we have accomplished quite a lot here over those 11 years. We are rapidly approaching our 500th post. It seemed fitting to celebrate by highlighting our eleven most popular stories or “quick pics” from the lab:

1. Working From Home Options for Conservation Labs

2. A Fleet of Futons–Yours for the Making

3. It Came From The Bowels

4. What a Difference a [Press] Makes

5. Cradle Boxing Day

6. Moving the Duke Family

7.  The ‘Largest Sheet of Paper Ever Made and Printed’

8. When It Rains On The Inside

9. 1091 Project: Making Enclosures

10. Letter Spacing on Labels

11. Hold Me Closer… Protective Enclosure

I was a bit surprised to see that three of the top posts are from this calendar year. With the disruption to everyone’s work over the last 9 months, it has been a little more challenging to keep to our usual publishing schedule. But with everyone spending more time at home these days, I guess that also means more folks are looking for something to read. Welcome to our new readers and a huge ‘thank you’ to long-time followers who have stuck with us! Here’s to another 11 years of preservation stories, coming to you from the library basement. Have a safe and restful holiday.

FY2020: By the Numbers

It’s annual statistics time! As you can imagine Covid-19 struck a blow to our productivity in terms of conservation work. We have all been busy working from home improving documentation, learning new skills through online resources like the ICON Together At Home Webinar Series, and the Guild of Bookworkers generous online offerings during the spring, and of course we are all Zoom masters now.

FY2021 by the Numbers

609 Book repairs
671 Pamphlet bindings
8 Treatments: Other (objects, textiles, etc.)
154 Flat Paper repairs
4,956 Protective enclosures
419 Disaster recovery
4 Exhibit mounts
216.5 Hours in support of Exhibits (meetings, treatment, installation, etc.)
129 Digital preparation repairs
36.25 Hours in support of Digital Projects (meetings, consultations, handling, etc.)

43% of production was for Special Collections
57% of production was for Circulating Collections

80% of work was Level 1 [less than 15 minutes to complete; 4,298 items]
17% of work was Level 2 [15 minutes – 2 hours to complete; 925 items]
3% of work was Level 3 [2 – 5 hours to complete; 146 items]
0% of work was Level 4 [more than 5 hours; 31 items]

Our enclosure workflow is still the largest percentage of output. This trend will continue once the enabling work for the Lilly Renovation Project begins. We hope that will start this fiscal year, but budgetary constraints due to Covid-19 may see that work put on hold temporarily.

Other Things We Did Last Year
  • We hosted 25 tours of the lab totaling 90 people
  • We presented 35 Care and Handling Training sessions to DUL staff totaling 34 people
  • We hosted our third HBCU Library Alliance/University of Delaware-Winterthur conservation intern.
  • We worked on some cool things like the Encyclopedia Britannica 11th Edition (Mary), installed the Baskin Exhibit at the Grolier Club in New York City (Henry), listened to Erin’s lunchtime talk on Swiss Anabaptist Bindings that is now published in Suave Mechanicals v. 6,  learned more about the paintings in the Lilly Library (Rachel), and welcomed Jovana Ivezic as our new Senior Technician.
  • We had three awesome students this year: Selena, Leah, and Ally. Just before we were sent home our pre-program volunteer, Mackenzie, started working with us. Unfortunately, we are not able to bring any of them back this fall due to Covid-19 restrictions but we are looking forward to that possibility in the spring.
  • We surpassed a quarter million items coming through the lab this year. With FY2021 we are now at 268,696 items through the lab since 2002. It’s an amazing feat. I am so proud of our staff, students and volunteers that help make Conservation happen at DUL.