Category Archives: What We Find In Books

What We Find In Books: Leaves of Grass (and other formerly green things)

This book was sent down to Conservation for an enclosure. Inside were many, many pressed leaves and bits of ferns. We couldn’t leave them in the text as they were staining the paper, but we were hesitant to just remove them due to their provenance. Jennifer devised this clever solution to removing the leaves but saving the information about where they were in the book.

Each set of leaves was encapsulated with a tag that says where in the book they were found. The set of encapsulations are inside a small folder, and both the folder and book are inside a beautiful new box.

For more images from the Conservation lab, visit our Flickr site.

What We Find In Books: Fabulous Trompe L’oeil Dog Ears

Written by Erin Hammeke, Conservator for Special Collections.

This two volume set came through the lab recently for rehousing, and we were little prepared for what we found inside. The set is a from a small collection called the Jantz Early Manuscript Collection and little is known about it.

Both volumes are handwritten and illustrated and bound in wooden boards with blind-tooled leather covering. They appear to date from the 18th or 19th century. The texts seem to cover a variety of subjects from emblems to architecture and music to optics.

They contain a variety of different examples of decorated Dutch gilt paper bound in throughout the text. There are numerous hand-painted illustrations and the neatest ones involve cutouts that expose parts of the subsequent page. There is even a trompe l’oeil dog-eared page!

We look forward to learning more about this fascinating set.

What the…??

This DIY book repair came to the lab today. I believe that the patron was just trying to keep the pieces together. At least, I want to believe that they were trying to help…but wrapping the whole book with duct tape? Three times? With duct tape? *sigh*

Accidents happen, angry dogs happen, things break. It’s OK, we understand. We also have people who specialize in repairing library books. Next time, dear patron, just put it in a zip-top bag and bring it in, we know what to do.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Have you missed me? I’ve been out sick this past week and haven’t been able to post. Maybe I need more Beef Wine in my diet. While I catch up on what’s been happening around here, I thought I would give you a little luck charm for St. Patrick’s Day in case you aren’t wearing any green. We found this four leaf clover in Lloyd’s War Losses: WWII. Fun, and a bit ironic. You can see more of what we find in books on our Flickr page.