Category : Preservation

Happy Preservation Week!

Guess what – it’s Preservation Week! This annual event, presented by the American Library Association (ALA), is going on now through April 27th and is hot on the heels of National Library Week.

Preservation Week 2019 logo

Here’s what the ALA has to say about the event:

Memories and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. Sponsored by the ALA’s Association of Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), Preservation Week inspires actions to preserve personal, family, and community collections in addition to library, museum, and archive collections. It also raises awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in providing ongoing preservation education and information.

Preserving the artifacts of your own history is an important effort. Photographs, documents, heirlooms – they’re not just things, they’re a collection of precious, personal stories and they shouldn’t be lost to future generations.

Here are some things you can do this week to join in the movement:

Let me know what you’re doing this week!

Happy Preservation Week!

2018 Preservation Week logo

Hey everyone – it’s Preservation Week! This annual event, presented by the American Library Association (ALA), is going on now through April 28th. The ALA must be very busy this month considering that this event is held just two weeks after National Library Week!

Here’s what they’ve got to say about the event:

Memories and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. Sponsored by the ALA’s Association of Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), Preservation Week inspires actions to preserve personal, family, and community collections in addition to library, museum, and archive collections. It also raises awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in providing ongoing preservation education and information.

So yeah, preserving heirlooms (and what are essentially personal artifacts) is a good and important thing. Just think of all of the stories those items have to say – it’s such a shame when those stories are lost to future generations.

Photographs are an obvious no-brainer when it comes thinking about something that should be protected. Here are some things you can do this week when boarding the Preservation Week Train:

Let me know what you’re doing this week!

Happy Preservation Week!

2017 Preservation Week logo

Hey everyone – it’s Preservation Week! This annual event, presented by the American Library Association (ALA), is going on now through April 29th.

Here’s what the ALA has to say about the event:

Memories and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. Sponsored by the ALA’s Association of Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), Preservation Week inspires actions to preserve personal, family, and community collections in addition to library, museum, and archive collections. It also raises awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in providing ongoing preservation education and information.

I think that we’re so focused on the digital world right now that it’s too easy to forget about the valuable, tangible items that document a life.

It’s so important for people to be able to tell their stories and share them with future generations. That’s why I love making blank books – they’re just waiting to be filled with stories.

So what can you do this week? Here are five suggestions to get you started:

  1. How about taking your photos out of those evil sticky photo albums and getting them into acid-free books? Preserve Your Treasures: How To Remove Photos from a Sticky Album (Smithsonian Institution Archives)
  2. Get tips on photo preservation from the Library of CongressCare, Handling, and Storage of Photographs (they don’t like sticky photo albums either)
  3. Once you’ve picked out an archival photo album, how about making your own photo corners? The National Park Service can teach you how to do that!
  4. Got curly photos? Learn how to flatten them.
  5. Do the terms acid-free, lignin-free, and photo-safe all sound like gibberish to you? Learn how they’re different in this article by Scrapbook Retailer.

Let me know what you’re up to!

Awesome resources – IU Libraries Book Repair Manual and the Studio Protector

Elise Calvi, the Head of General Collections Conservation and Conservation Services at Indiana University Libraries recently posted on the Book Arts Listserv that their online book repair manual had been updated.

Indiana University Libraries Book Repair Manual

From their website:

This manual documents many of the treatment procedures used in the General Collections Conservation (GCC) Lab of the Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington. It is a resource for staff who are responsible for the remedial care of the Libraries’ research book collections. We share it on the Web for others who are, or wish to become, responsible for the preservation of library or personal collections.

I really appreciate it when institutions generously share their knowledge with the world – the information shared in this manual is amazing.

The Indiana University Libraries Book Repair Manual has several chapters:

  • Repair treatments
  • Enclosure treatments
  • Equipment/hand tools and how they’re used (with images)
  • Supplies and materials and how they’re used (with images)
  • Glossary (ex. what exactly is a square?)

The repair and enclosure sections give you tools and materials lists for each treatment, along with step-by-step instructions with images. The directions for constructing a cloth-covered clamshell box are just fantastic. In general, I have box-making fear, but I could totally do it by using the manual. 

Studio Protector - CERF+Something else that caught my eye was the section on disaster supplies. As a former employee of CERF+, I know that most find the topic of disaster preparation and response to be both dry and stressful. The fact is that preventative measures can make a huge difference in how one can survive an unexpected event.

If you don’t know about CERF+, you really should get to know them – they’ve got an amazing collection of resources on their website, including the following:

And there’s so much more – you should really check it out.

One more thing – CERF+’s Studio Protector is a great tool for helping you navigate disaster planning in the studio. I know this not only because I own one, but also because I worked on its development during my years at CERF+.

And for you book folks out there, here’s a bit of trivia – book artist Carol Barton helped with the design.

Happy Preservation Week!

Preservation Week logo

Hey everyone – it’s Preservation Week! This annual event, presented by the American Library Association (ALA), is going on now through April 30th.

Here’s what the ALA has to say about the event:

Memories and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. Sponsored by the ALA’s Association of Library Collections and Services and partner organizations, Preservation Week inspires actions to preserve personal, family, and community collections in addition to library, museum, and archive collections. It also raises awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in providing ongoing preservation education and information.

I have a keen interest in the concept of preservation – it’s one of the reasons why I make books. People should tell their stories and be able share them with future generations.

So what can you do to honor this week? Here are some ideas:

  1. Check out the resources on how to properly care for collections of books and paper.
  2. Watch a webinar about preserving scrapbooks.
  3. Teach a child about the importance of preservation.
  4. Confirm that your photo albums are archival and acid free.
  5. Make a book and share your story!

Tell me what you’re up to this week – I’d love to hear about it!

It’s Preservation Week!

Preservation Week logo

April 26 – May 2, 2015 marks Preservation Week, a time when institutions work to raise awareness of the importance of protecting and conserving both public and private collections. The event is sponsored by the Association for Library Collections & Technology Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

From the ALA website:

Preservation Week was created in 2010 because some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. Eighty percent of these institutions have no paid staff assigned responsibility for collections care; 22 percent have no collections care personnel at all. Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan. As natural disasters of recent years have taught us, these resources are in jeopardy should a disaster strike. Personal, family, and community collections are equally at risk.

The hope is that organizations can inspire people to get involved through participation in events in their community. The ALA website has a Google Map of planned events and speakers – check it out. Remember – small actions add up!

Want to get involved? Here are some ideas:

 I’d love to hear about what you’re doing this week – let me know!

The Collapsible Book Cradle, revisited

A while ago, I shared a collapsible book cradle designed by a friend of mine, Elizabeth Rideout.

Recently, the Preservation Lab of the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County and the University of Cincinnati Libraries developed instructions for making one, based solely on the images in my blog post. The talent behind the instructions is conservation technician Chris Voynovich. I’m so impressed by his abilities!

If you’re interested in making your own, check out the Preservation Lab’s instructions.

Collapsible Book Cradle

I was visiting with my friend Elizabeth Rideout this weekend and she showed me this amazing collapsible book cradle she created. She just completed work at Preservation Services at Dartmouth and was recently named the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA.

I’m so psyched for her, but I’ll miss her terribly (clearly MA isn’t VT).

Back to the book cradle. It can be adjusted to accommodate a range of book thicknesses and breaks down to something can be shelved like a book.

Here are some pictures of it:

 

Seriously, this thing is genius.

And who doesn’t like Velcro?

Fixing me a book

For the past few days I’ve been working on a book repair. The original binding wasn’t sewn and had only adhesive on the spine. The book has a soft cover and the spine cracked, so many of the pages were falling out of it.

A friend brought the book to me on behalf of someone else and asked me if I could fix it. I have not been trained in the art (yes, it’s an art) of book repair and conservation. I do not want to represent myself as having skills that I simply don’t have. I explained to my friend that if this book had any monetary or sentimental value, then I did not want to put my hands on it. I have limited ability in repair and did not want to do anything that would damage the book’s value. She spoke to her friend and apparently this was okay with him.

Go figure. I get a learning opportunity.

Two books that I have been referring to during the process are The Practical Guide to Book Repair and Conservation by Arthur Johnson and In-House Book Binding and Repair by Sharon McQueen. McQueen’s book had diagrams, which made me happy, so I went with her process on repairing adhesive bound books.

I removed all of the old adhesive from the spine and cleaned up the edges of the pages. I gathered them up and clamped them together to keep them from sliding around. I clamped in a sandwich of wax paper and press boards, as you can see in the image below.

Spine repair on book

Using a knife, I then cut thin channels into the spine that were deep enough to sink a cord. A file can be used to do this as well (and it’s probably much easier, but I don’t have one). I coated the spine with a layer of glue and sunk in the cords. I have since added 7 more coats of glue. McQueen’s book doesn’t specify how many layers of glue to use, but I feel like it needs at least a couple more. When that’s finished, I’ll glue it back into the cover and reinforce the hinges with coordinating bookcloth.

In addition to referring to books in my library, I also did quite a bit of online research on book repair. Universities and libraries have a lot to offer on this topic.

Here are a few of the resources I found:

If you have any other resources for folks to use in book repair (especially free ones), let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

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