Tag Archives: gifts

Last Minute Gifts for Your Conservator Friends

It’s that time of year. The time to rush around frantically looking for gifts for your friends and relations. If you need some last minute ideas, any of these would be a lovely gift for your conservator friends

What’s On Your Wall?



“Bitten by Witch Fever” is a beautiful book about the history of arsenic in wallpaper. The book contains 275 facsimile samples of wallpapers that were tested and found to contain arsenic. The book explains the manufacture, uses and effects of arsenic. Arsenic, it’s not just for silking documents anymore.

Bitten by Witch Fever
by Lucinda Hawksley
Thames & Hudson (2016)


Can you see me now?



Conservators love their tools. These little clip-on lenses fit on your smart phone. The pack comes with three lenses: 180 degree fish eye, 0.36x wide angle, and a 25x macro lens.

We are starting to see some images by colleagues using the macro lenses in their work. Pretty impressive for $26.

Amir 3-in-1 clip on cell phone camera lens kit




What’s your favorite tool?

IMG_1325.jpgShanna Leino makes wonderful tools. This little steel micro chisel is a workhorse of a chisel. It can be used on paper, leather, binder’s board, and wood. Henry says, “I use it all of the time!” Can’t argue with that.

Steel micro chisel (the website says “sold out” but there’s always Ground Hog Day to shop for).




Beyond Words



“Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections” is a companion catalog to a multi-institutional exhibit of illuminated manuscripts that is taking place this fall. Gorgeous reproductions of over 260 manuscripts from the collections of Harvard University’s Houghton Library, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, and more.

This is conservator eye candy!

Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections
Jeffrey F. Hamburger, editor, et al.
Mcmullen Museum Of Art, Boston College (October 15, 2016)



Got paste?


We all miss the classic Cook-N-Stir. So far, we haven’t found a good alternative. Is this it? Maybe not, but the video alone is fun to watch.

Not sold in stores! “Designed to stir every inch. The silicone feet & orbital turning action ensures no spot in un-stirred.” It’s only $16.99. If anyone tries it for paste, please report back.

Gem Sauce Blender
Your Wish Store

The Best Presents Are Those That Make You Feel Good

Image result for library book tree

If you want to do one simple thing to make all of your conservator friend happy, this is it. Stop making holiday trees out of library books! Just stop.









book, book tree, tree, portage library










Just stop.





Wishing everyone a very happy holiday and winter solstice. May you have a joyful and peaceful new year!


Small Gifts Can Make A Difference

Bound newspapers (before boxing)
Chicago Tribune (1906) newspapers before boxing.

‘Tis the season to give thanks for all that we have. In that spirit, we would like to express our appreciation for one of our donors, Mike Plaisance, for his generosity over the past several years. Mr. Plaisance has given to the Library every month since May, 2008.

His gifts have helped us purchase enclosures for the bound newspapers in the American Newspaper Repository. These enclosures protect the contents from environmental changes, and keep the bound volumes safe during transport between the Rubenstein Library reading room and the Library Service Center where this collection is housed.

While Mr. Plaisance’s gift is not the multi-million dollar contribution that we usually publicize, smaller gifts like these add up and can really make a difference. Mr. Plaisance’s monthly contribution has been a meaningful and useful gift, and has helped us protect and preserve this high-use collection. Thank you Mr. Plaisance!!

bound newspaper after boxing
If a newspaper is slightly smaller than the box, we custom fit a spacer to keep it from “swimming” inside during transportation.
Bound newspapers after boxing
Chicago Tribune (1906) after boxing.


Last Minute Gift Ideas

With contributions from Winston Atkins, Preservation Librarian

Never fear, your secret holiday helper is here! We have for you some last minute gift ideas for Hanukkah, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa or New Year’s.

Heck, these make great hostess gifts, thank-you gifts, or birthday gifts, especially if someone’s birthday falls smack dab in the middle of all of these holidays (ahem).

Gifts under $20

Gifts to $50

Gifts to $100

Gifts over $100

The usual disclaimer: Listing does not imply endorsement of any product or vendor.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Welcome to the new version of our blog! We just migrated over to WordPress, please adjust your bookmarks accordingly. We have a new URL, but we have set up a re-direct for the old one so you can still find us.

The holiday season is upon us, and is our tradition we offer up some last minute gifts for that hard-to-buy-for conservator or preservation enthusiast on your list. This year it’s all about fiction and movies sine we read enough technical literature for our jobs. All work and no play…

Homicide in Hardcover: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle. The description reads, “The streets of San Francisco would be lined with hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn’t be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.” Intriguing, no?

The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga. Written in 1995, the book follows a young conservator on her journey to Florence to help with the recovery of books affected by the floods of 1966 (a seminal year in the history of library conservation theory and practice). Along the way our heroine discovers more than just a rare volume of erotica.

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva. Part of the Gabriel Allon series, the main character is an Israeli intelligence operative who also happens to be a paintings conservator. Don’t you think some of your colleagues may be secret undercover agents with mad spy skills?

National Treasure. What better way to represent conservators than one that is willing to squirt lemon juice on the U.S. Constitution in the name of discovering long lost treasure? And Nicholas Cage is just fun to watch, in my opinion.

Ghostbusters II. Admittedly not as good as the original but still a fun movie filled with ectoplasm and all around hijinks. Siguorney Weaver’s character, Dana Barrett, is a paintings conservator.

Holly Hunter also plays a paintings conservator in Home for the Holidays. Why do paintings conservators get all the character lines? Anyway, a light and funny film especially good for those of you traveling to meet family this year.

For more finds be sure to visit Conservation Online’s listing of books, movies and more, all with a conservation theme or character. If you have any to add, leave us a note.