Book & paper conservation Category

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OceanTeacher Academy Preservation Course

Monday, May 21, 2012

Students dry cleaning books using erasures and other techniques 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.

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It’s a small world

Friday, May 18, 2012

AAMI Bible with Kolarik Bindery Check

AAMI Bible with Kolarik Bindery Check

I always love when things come together to remind us how small the world really is.  I have been working on a Bible from the African American Museum of Iowa that was damaged in the flood. The Bible was in pretty bad shape.  The binding had totally failed and it was basically just a stack of sheets.  I cleaned every page and then consulted Gary for next step.  He suggested jogging each page together and gluing using the double fan method so that the Bible could be bound once again.

As I was cleaning the sheets a cancelled check to the Kolarik Bindery fell out of the pages.  It was a check to have the Bible rebound in 1973.  This was significant to me as most of the Kolarik bindery equipment was donated to the UI Center for the Book to help establish a central location for students to study bookbinding.

While thinking about how great it was to have a book bound at the Kolarik Bindery as I was working on a book for the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, I looked down at the treatment sheet and was amazed to see that the author’s last name was Kolarik.  Suddenly it all came together – Kolarik is a Czech name.

So while working on a book for the African American Museum of Iowa, I was connected to the Kolarik Bindery and the UI Center for the Book as well as to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library!

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Johnson County Record Books

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We have conserved a number of record books from the Flood of 2008 for the Johnson County Historical Society.  Most of them have been pretty straight forward in the treatment that was needed.  We were so close to being finished with all of the record books when we came across a record book that hadn’t been sewn, but needed to be rebound.

This meant we needed to double-fan or perfect bind the book.  This process uses adhesive to keep all the pages together.  It is the process used to bind most paperback books on the market today.  It is a fairly simple process but the sheer size of the record book made it a little difficult.

The record book all glued up.

The record book all glued up.

The record book in question is 18″ tall, 12″ wide and 3″ thick, too big to fit into any of our lying presses! Bill and I jogged the textblock together and using all four of our hands clamped the book together.  I then glued the textblock together and lined the spine.  We could then move onto casing the book in.

The record book rebound

The record book rebound

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Andrea’s Awesome Flood Recovery Video

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Still from Andrea's Video

A Still from Andrea's Video

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:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/kFtpG5wvYXY

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Hinge Tightening

Hinge Tightening or Tightening in Case

This treatment should be performed when the hinge(s) of a book are loose but not separated. Do not use this treatment if the cover cloth is torn at the joint.

Hinge needing treatment

Hinge needing treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The materials needed for this treatment are:
Knitting needle
PVA in a bottle
Waxed paper
Press and pressing boards

1. Gently hold open the hinge to be tightened.
2. Insert the knitting needle into the PVA bottle, coating it evenly with a thin layer of adhesive.
3. Insert the adhesive coated needle into hinge, then pull it back out slowly, rotating it to dispense the adhesive. Perform this step at the head and tail of each hinge as needed.

Apply adhesive using a knitting needle

Apply adhesive using a knitting needle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Place a sheet of waxed paper between the cover and end sheet at the hinge and close the book.
6. Use a bone folder to reset the joint.

Resetting the hinge with a bone folder

Resetting the hinge with a bone folder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Press the book between edged boards.

Submitted by Brad M Ferrier

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Pamphlet Binding

Friday, March 2, 2012

This treatment should be used with single section sewn or stapled pamphlet book structures. The materials needed for this treatment are:

Tools and materials needed for pamphlet binding.

Tools and materials needed for pamphlet binding.

  1. Spine wrap pamphlet binder
  2. pamphlet to be bound
  3. 3-5 binders’ awls
  4. microspatula
  5. binders’ needle
  6. linen thread
  7. scissors
  8. bone folder

Preparing the pamphlet for binding

Removing the staples

Removing the staples

1. Using either a staple remover or microspatula, remove the staples from the pamphlet.

2. Insert the pamphlet into the pamphlet binder, ensuring that it is centered properly between the head (top) and tail (bottom) and that the front cover of the pamphlet is showing through the transparent front cover of the binder.

Removing the staples

Removing the staples

3. Fold the binder’s adhesive spine cloth so that it is out of the way.For small pamphlets, three sewing stations will be adequate. Forlarger pamphlets, additional sewing stations may be necessary. As a rule, there should be no more than 2 inches between each sewing station. For this pamphlet, 5 sewing stations are needed.

Piercing the sewing stations

Piercing the sewing stations

4. Working from inside of the pamphlet and using the binders’ awl, pierce a hole, or sewing station, through the spine, roughly halfway between the head and tail. Leave the awl in the sewing station to keep the pages aligned. When piercing the pamphlet, it is best to work on the edge of your table or workstation.

 

Leaving the awls in place helps to keep the pages aligned

Leaving the awls in place helps to keep the pages aligned


5. Pierce sewing stations roughly ½ inch from both the head and tail of the pamphlet. For small pamphlets, three sewing stations will be adequate. For larger pamphlets, additional sewing stations may be necessary. As a rule, there should be no more than 2 inches between each sewing station. For this pamphlet, 5 sewing stations are needed.


6. Pierce additional sewing stations roughly halfway between the center station and the head station, and about halfway between the center and the tail.

Sewing the pamphlet

Sewing Diagram for Pamphlet Stitch

Beginning the pamphlet stitch

Beginning the pamphlet stitch

1. In order to sew the pamphlet, you will need roughly 2½ spine lengths of linen thread.

2. Cut the required length of linen thread and thread the needle. It may be helpful to use the bone folder to flatten the end of the thread.

3. Beginning outside the pamphlet at the center sewing station (#3). Thread your needle into the sewing station leaving a 2-inch length of thread outside of the spine. This will be used to tie off the stitch in the final steps.

4. Working toward the head of the pamphlet, sew through the next station (#2) moving from the inside out.

Keep the stitching tight as you work

Keep the stitching tight as you work

5. Next, sew through the head station (#1) moving from the outside in. Holding the beginning end of the thread in place, pull the stitching tight.

6. Working back toward the center now, sew through station #2, this time sewing in the opposite direction as before, from the outside in.

Beginning and ending thread lengths

Beginning and ending thread lengths

7. Next, move past the center station toward the tail of the pamphlet and sew into station #4.

8. Sew through station #5 and back through station #4. Keep the stitching pulled tight as you work.

9. Next, sew through the center sewing station (#3). As you push the needle through, make sure that the beginning and ending thread lengths are on opposite sides of the thread that runs from stations #2 to #4. Using the beginning thread length and the ending thread length, tie a square knot.

10. Trim the beginning and ending thread lengths to roughly ½ inch.

11. Remove the wax paper strip from the binder’s adhesive spine cover and adhere the flap around the spine. Seal securely with the bone folder.

Adhering the spine cover

Adhering the spine cover

Adhering the spine cover

Adhering the spine cover

The bound pamphlet

The bound pamphlet

Submitted by Brad M Ferrier

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Being Resourceful

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.

Corners added to poster hold map in place so map can be safely handledLibrarian is showing old poster being used as a support for a map

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Visiting the Vietnam National Archives Center IV

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dr. Hue with interpreter showing mended document
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.

Wood carving showing title pageMended document showning the handmade paper backing where original is missing

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Assessing Rare Books

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Inspecting a rare volume on Japanese faunaToday 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.

Measuring a book to get measurements to make a boxEach 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.volume that is stained but text is still legibleA rare book that is so brittle its pages has pieces missing

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Visiting Vietnam Institute of Oceanography Library

Monday, February 13, 2012

Preservation team standing outside the Vietnam Institute of Oceanography

Preservation team

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.

Illustration of type of sheer curtain material to use for window treatment

Illustration of sheer curtain material that could be used for window treatment

Window in library showing good cross aircirculation

Window in library