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Farewell and Best of Luck to Andrea Kohashi!

UI Libraries Jill-of-all-trades, master of many, Andrea Kohashi leaves us today to become the University of Richmond’s Archivist and Book Arts Studio Coordinator. Andrea holds an MA in Library and Information Science as well as an MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa.

Andrea has been with the University Libraries since September 2011. She has worked in Preservation & Conservation, Special Collections, the Iowa Women’s Archive, and the Center for the Book. One of her projects was a video about her flood recovery work in the conservation department.

Andrea’s most recent publication was an article the Fall 2015 issue of Archive Journal, The Book Artist and the Archivist: A Shared Perspective.  More of her writing is housed in the Iowa Research Online repository.

We congratulate the University of Richmond and will miss Andrea Kohashi’s talent and good cheer!

 

andrea at farewell party

Andrea (center) at her farewell party in the conservation department.

 

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Highlights from 2015: DIY Collections Care

A book from the circulating collection recently came back from inter-library loan in need of some intervention from Susan Hansen, Book Repair Supervisor at the Libraries’ Preservation & Conservation department.  The copy of The Origin of the Domestic Animals of Africa showed quite a bit of damage, perhaps from an encounter with a domestic animal of the American sort.

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The book’s condition also evidenced collections care from an amateur conservator. The patron did consider condition and access when pulling together the book and returning it as close to complete as s/he received it, but their choice of materials required attention.“…I’ll put it this way: it’s the most duck taped item I’ve seen,” stated Ms. Hansen, well-seasoned in the art and practice of book repair. The patron took great care in reattaching the front cover to the spine using both duck tape and clear packaging tape.  The clear tape was used, likely, so that the spine and important information would be visible.

Susan reattached the cover to the spine of the book and reattached the inside cover to the front page, replacing the title page with a facsimile.  From the Preservation & Conservation department the book will move to a commercial binder where the pages will be uniformly trimmed to remove as much of the damaged area as possible.

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Happy Holidays from Preservation and Conservation!

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Digitizing Hancher Posters

By Ben Bessman, Digitization Assistanthancher_poster 1

Hancher Auditorium had been a noteworthy stop for world famous musical acts, theatre productions, dance companies, and guest speakers in the Midwest since 1972, until its original location was flooded out in June of 2008.  Since then various community sites have served as hosts for the wide variety of performers that normally would have graced the halls of this landmark theater.  But 2016 will bring a welcomed change when the new and improved Hancher Auditorium will open its doors and once again showcase many of the world’s premiere acts.

For more than three decades many of the best Broadway shows, international dance and music troupes, and solo hancher_poster 2artists made their stop in Iowa City, with many coming back over and over again throughout the years.  And thanks to the quick thinking of Hancher Auditorium staff, many of the original posters from those early performances are still intact and have now been digitally preserved as part of the Iowa Digital Library.  The large size of these posters (or “show bills”) required a handful of people to feed them through our 54” Context HD scanner, with most of the preservation images created from this process averaging around 2.0 GB, before we trim them down a little.

These show bills beautifully represent not only Hancher Auditorium’s rich history but the astounding range of performers who have entertained and enlightened our community throughout the years.  From musical greats like Duke Ellington, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Leonid Kogan, to their more contemporary counterparts Bonnie Raitt and Bruce Springsteen- strolling through the show bills of the past is discount time travel at its best.  Discovering gems you never knew about- Ricardo Montalban headlining “Don Juan in Hell” for example, becomes a rewarding experience.

Preserving these materials, from William F. Buckley Jr.’s conservative philosophy lecture in 1974 to Hunter S. Thompson’s “gonzo” journalism speech in 1978, is an important step in celebrating Hancher’s past.  The posters themselves offer as wide a variety of artistic styles as the artists they promote- each feeling specifically designed to capture the spirit of the event being held.  Which, of course, is the idea of the show bill in the first place- it’s where art and advertisement meet.hancher_poster 3

So whether you are a fan of “Grease”, the Vienna Choir Boys, the Royal Swedish Ballet, or the Grateful Dead, these show bills from Hancher Auditorium’s esteemed past surely will have something that will interest you.  We invite you to come take a look for yourself. http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/hancher

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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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A Mystery Solved!

Posted on behalf of Tiffany Eng, our intern from West Dean College

While making a phase box for A New Dictionary of Medical Science (1851) from the John Martin Rare Book Room, we came across a fragment of a print on the paper used as a spine lining for the book.

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The medical dictionary’s print date is 1851, and the little bit of text remaining on the paper gave a year, 1852, along with an address, which let us know that the textblock sat around for at least a year before being bound.

Out of interest, we did an internet search to find that the address was the former London office location of Punch Magazine (then known as Punch, Or, the London Chariviari). It took a bit of sleuthing, including a visit to the library stacks to borrow the 1851-1852 bound journal versions of Punch, but we found that the spine lining fragment was a part of the masthead for the magazine.

iowablog3masthead

The original drawing was done by illustrator Richard Doyle and was used from 1849 to 1954. As a nice little cap on our mystery spine lining, Richard Doyle also happened to be the uncle of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, detective writer extraordinaire.

For those interested, the library has an archive of bound Punch Magazine volumes from between 1841-1900s

Links:
http://www.thebaron.info/comment/85-fleet-street-phil-davison
http://www.punch.co.uk/

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Book Readers’ Intermingling Paper and Screen

Wednesday, December17, 2014
Submitted by Gary Frost
Paper and Screen
Generic distinctions between a screen and paper display (of the same image) include the recto/verso (duplex) and left/right (spread) attributes of paper and the persistence and accuracy of navigation of those features. Further complexity of the multiple display navigation is presented in book format (again same content for both paper and screen display). In books navigation of expositions and discovery are eased in paper with haptic manipulation and in screen with dexterity of touch. A contended factor in book format is cognitive navigation and mapping attributes as used in reading where studies favor paper.

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