We spent the morning at OceanTeacher Academy practicing stitching single-signature pamphlets into binders and making pockets. Pamphlet binders and pockets are both good ways to protect vulnerable material. We used both commercial and homemade binder covers for our pamphlets. A pocket can be used to keep a CD, pamphlet, map or other loose material with a book. A pocket attached to a folder can also be used to protect an item, particularly pamphlets that are too fragile to stitch in a binder or items too thick to include in a book. Pamphlet binders and pockets are inexpensive ways to protect fragile material.
About Author: Nancy E. Kraft
Posts by Nancy E. Kraft
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Today we visited the National Archives in Bruges at their old facility and the new facility that they will move into this August. Archivist Luc Janssens talked about how he organized the archives collection by size in order to maximize the shelving space. There are four different height and width sizes of shelving. He also mapped the collection areas on an architectural floor plan so that the movers can move the boxes and shelve them for him. He has to very careful that the boxes get on the correct shelf so he can find the boxes back again.
In order to reduce the chances of fire getting into the archive collections, he requested that a fire wall be built that will withstand fire for one hour. The depth of the fire wall can be seen behind the architects who came to visit with us during the tour of the new facility.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
During our week at OceanTeacher Academy, we are learning the basics of book repair for circulating collectons and preservation planning. Today we learned about mending page tears and tipping in loose pages. We stressed that these mends are for circulating collections only and not for special collections or rare books. The goal of simple mends for circulating collections is to extend the life of the book so it can continue to circulate until the book wears out. We used transparent, thin, flexible mending tissue.
We also continued to work on a preservation plan for each library. Students are discussing and recording preservation needs for collections, equipment and building. After each lecture, they review their recorded needs and make additions and/or corrections. By the end of the week they will each have a preservation plan. Today the students got into groups and shared ideas for filling out the various needs forms.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Our first day at OceanTeacher Academy (http://classroom.oceanteacher.org/) Preservation of Books and Other Media was very productive in spite of students and teachers suffering from jet lag and the challenge of understanding each other. The students are from Ghana, Vietnam, Seychelles, Cuba, Namibia, Latvia, Ukraine, Latvia, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, and Pakistan. We spent most of the day covering preservation basics and working on preservation plans for each library. Caitlin Moore concluded the day with a demonstration on how to clean a book using a vacuum cleaner, various erasers and eraser crumbs. And then the students practiced the various dry cleaning methods working on books that had dirt, soot, and pencil markings in them. To keep the dirt and soot contained, each student created a little work area using plain white paper.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Recovering from a flood can take years and can be overwhelming if you don’t have help. Luckily the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and the University of Iowa Libraries have lots of excellent help. The UI Libraries Conservation Lab continues to act as a flood recovery lab for the area museums impacted by the Flood of 2008. Many students workers and volunteers are assisting in the recovery of the NCSML books. We have sorted out the books into “rare” and “general”. The rare items receive full conservation treatment. To save time, money, and have an attractive book to put back on the shelf, we have developed a special workflow. The text block is taken out of the covers, cleaned, flattened, and edges trimmed slightly. The text block is sent off to a commercial bindery. If the cover or jacket has information or interesting artwork, the cover or jacket is sent along with the book. The cover image is digitized and used to make a new cover. Student worker, Andrea Kohashi, has explained the process in her video:
Friday, February 17, 2012
Vietnam Institute of Oceanography started in 1922 as “Service Océanographiques des Pêches de l’Indochine and specializes in oceanography of Vietnam. One of the special collections is the records of the Expedition of Cooperation of Vietnam and China in Tonkin Gulf, 1959-1961. So far these records are in good condition.
These records along with other rare publications are stored on the second floor without good temperature, humidity control, and air circulation. Staff will be requesting the addition of a ceiling fan to improve air circulation. In our final meeting with library and institute staff, we discussed the possibility of making a formal proposal for a special room to house these materials. As always, money is an issue and electricity is expensive. We will be exploring ways to find a better environment for these rare materials. We will be working with VNIO staff to draft plans for improving the storage conditions for the entire collection. Our visit was just the beginning.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Ms. Yen, Librarian for the Vietnam Institute of Oceanography, needs to make the most of her limited resources. Here she has designed a simple protector for a fragile map. She used a poster, turned it over to the back side and made corners to hold the map in place. Maybe some day she will be able to give the map an archival folder. Until then the map can now be handled safely.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Today we visited the National Archives Center IV in Dalat, Vietnam. This visit was in sharp contrast to our visit to the Vietnam Institute of Oceanography. Our visit with the VNIO was quite causal and informal. Today’s meeting was very formal, complete with speeches, a gift, and several photo sessions. Linda Pikula and I were greeted by Ms. Pham Thi Hue and her interpreter, Ms. Le Thi Lan.
After giving a brief history of the archives and an explanation of preservation methods, we were given a tour of the archives. All was quite modern with excellent shelving, smoke alarms, and fire suppresant system. One interesting thing of note is that they run the fans for the air-conditioning system but not the cooling. Temperature is kept at 21 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity is around 60-70%.
Their documents are repaired by lining the pages with handmade paper and attaching the paper with cacboxyl methyl cellulose glue. In addtion to their documentary collection, they also have a large woodblock collection of the Nguyen dynasty. Just think — the characters needed to be carved in the reverse in order to print on paper. The wood block below illustrates a title page.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Today we worked with the rare books. Two years ago Yen prepared a list of rare books for review. Both Linda and Yen checked different sources to determine how widely the titles were held and if they have been digitized. From this list we selected only three titles (20 volumes) to inspect, given our time limitations. As a gift to the Vietnam Institute of Oceanography library, the University of Iowa Libraries plans to make boxes for these select titles. I just hope my measurements are accurate.
Each book had to be measured in several places to find the highest, widest deepest part in order to know how large to make each box. I decided to err on too big rather than too small. Plus, we decided with the 14 volume set to make all the boxes the same height and width and just adjust the depth — a shortcut that we probably wouldn’t take if we were working in a lab. We checked the measurements twice and Linda recorded the information.
The books were in mixed condition. All bindings had extensive damage. Most of the volumes had intact legible text except for one extremely brittle book. Fortunately, the brittle book is held by two other libraries and has been digitized.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Linda Pikula and I met with Yen and Van to discuss preservation and possible digitization of select portions of their library collection at the Vietnamese Institute of Oceanography Library. The biggest challenge is that the library is quite close to the ocean where ships dock. These ships bring in a lot of dust and pollutants which end up on the books. Airconditioning is too expensive and the heat and humidity is a challenge. Humidity ranges from 50-85% and temperature ranges from 70-108F degrees. To keep the area reasonably cooled they keep the windows open (when it’s not raining!). The windows are across from each other so they do get a good cross breeze.
The good news is that I saw no evidence of mold (fungi). But we do want to reduce risk of mold and insect damage. First simple solution that comes to mind is to install ceiling fans that can be kept running during the day to help keep good air circulation and to cover the windows with a sheer curtain to cut down on pollutants and dust while still allowing good air circulation. I was assured that these two suggestions are within their budget.
Our trip is sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (UNESCO, IOC) and their OceanTeacher Program.