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Happy Holidays from Preservation and Conservation!

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Highlights from 2015: William Anthony Conservation Lecture

 gary_frost_broadside

The second annual William Anthony Conservation Lecture was held on the the 8th of October, 2015.  Gary Frost, Conservator Emeritus and instructor of book conservation at SUNY Buffalo spoke about the history of bookbinding and the University of Iowa Conservation Department’s bookbinding model collection which was the creation of the lecture’s namesake.  The collection has grown into an invaluable teaching tool and asset to the conservation department and the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Mr. Frost served as the University of Iowa Libraries’ conservator from 1999 to 2011.  Mr. Frost is credited with championing the teaching role of the conservation lab and its staff, a distinction of which the department still prides itself.

Gary Frost is a book conservator and book arts educator. His career includes faculty positions at Columbia University, University of Texas at Austin and University of Iowa. He is currently Conservator Emeritus, University of Iowa Libraries. Gary has been awarded the Banks and Harris Award of the American Library Association and the Lifetime Award of the Guild of Book Workers. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation.

For those who could not make the lecture, a video of the event is forthcoming, and details will be posted to Preservation Beat as available.
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UV Photography in Buffalo

Last month, Assistant Conservator Brenna Campbell traveled to the Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State to take a workshop on using UV photography to learn more about cultural heritage objects. This qualitative technique is valuable both for identifying areas of change within an object — either from damage or treatment — as well as for tracking changes over time.

Instructors Jiuan Jiuan Chen and Dan Kushel expertly led participants through a variety of lectures and hands-on exercises. The group experimented with photographing a variety of objects, including paintings, prints, glass, baskets, and textiles. A few examples are below.

A study collection painting photographed under visible light

A study collection painting photographed under visible light

The same painting fluorescing under UV

The same painting fluorescing under UV. Areas of inpainting are easily visible.

The painting reflecting UV light

The painting reflecting UV light

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Soot and Dust Clean Up

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Discussion soot clean upIt really is a small world. As a volunteer for the AIC-CERT Disaster Response hotline, I had a call with a question about soot drifting in from a fire a couple doors down. On further inquiry, I discovered that the caller was from Traer, Iowa, only 90 miles away. Rather than trying to explain how to go about cleaning soot over the phone, we agreed that an on-site visit would be best.

Cleaning and dust soot from bookWhen our conservator Giselle Simón and I met with staff at the Traer Historical Museum, we were much relieved to see that the dusting of soot was very minor. We discussed cleaning techniques and strategies for organizing the volunteer cleaning session they were planning. Giselle demonstrated how to use an absorene dry cleaning sponge and a microfiber preservation quality dusting fabric cloth. We encouraged them to purchase a Nilfik HEPA vacuum cleaner and recommended supplies. They sent us a note that they did make the recommended purchases and are ready to start cleaning.

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Book Intervention Types: A Construct of Five Types

Friday, February 6, 2015

Submitted by Gary Frost

 

InterventionsWhat are the consequential types of book intervention? Can the interventions found in books be allotted to some kind of categories?

We observe interventions of (1) production, (2) marketing and retailing, (3) interventions of users and owners, of (4) library re-fabrication and book processing, and interventions of (5) restorers and conservators. Given the range of these interventions it is even fair to ask if books have any unmodified state! Perhaps we should say that our study of book intervention really presents an overall examination of the physical evidence and characteristics of any book that comes to hand. So, in a spirit of reflexive and comparative study from philology legacy, let’s gather evidence and characteristics of each intervention type as we examine any book in any context.

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