Linda Lundy, a conservation staff member, has just finished over 300 beautiful, small boxes for book storage use. These boxes were made to hold a variety of small books for the university’s main collection; anywhere from poems to storybooks, even spanish to english translation dictionaries. The boxes were measured and designed specifically for shelving within the Heinz road facility. They measured at about 5″ wide and 6″ in height. Some books were smaller in size than the box size, so fillers were made for these specific circumstances. They were each labeled with the title of the book and sent to marking to make the call numbers. Linda was able to make 22 boxes within a day; the project took around one month to complete.
Materials, equipment and procedures Category
The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Libraries have a vast collection of books damaged in the flood. Most of their collection is currently in storage in Cedar Rapids awaiting treatment. We recently received a box of books that was pretty smelly. In order to help curb the smell we developed a new way to use an odor reducer that we have been using for some time in the lab.
The Gonzo Odor Eliminator comes in large bags, too big to fit into boxes filled with books. We decided to make smaller packages of the rocks to be able to place an odor eliminator into each box of books. We ordered large heat-sealable tea bags and set to work. Each package of Odor Eliminator was opened and poured into approximately 12 tea bags. Each bag was then sealed with a tacking iron. Once sealed the bags were placed into the boxes of books to help reduce the “flood smell” on the books.
Friday, May 27, 2011
The best way to be prepared is to practice. As school children we have practice drills on how to respond to a fire alarm. Constant practice turns into a habit. We all know how to respond to a fire alarm without even thinking.
Today we had a disaster response practice drill. Each team had to assess the situation, plan for the response, and then rescue and pack the items. The practice was the aftermath of a “tornado” that left books, CDs, and photographs in mud along with snakes and fish.
We practiced safety, organized supplies, determined what materials should not be saved, rinsed and packed the books for freezing, and rinsed CDs and photographs and set out for air drying.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
What would you do if your aunt called you two days before her dinner party and informed you that due to a fire in her kitchen she wanted you to host her party at your house? OceanTeacher Academy students used this scenario to practice their disaster planning skills. We all have had to deal with “disasters” in our life and as a result have developed skills that can be helpful when dealing with a disaster to our library or museum collection. Questions the students had to resolve were: what was the goal in resolving the dinner disaster, how was the dinner going to be handled, what steps would be involved in holding the dinner, how would they get the food and other resources needed, and who was going to pay for the dinner?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Salvaging damaged books can be very time consuming, especially if they don’t dry flat. Today Caitlin Moore demonstrated how to flatten a book. First you lightly mist a page, using a mister that sprays a very fine mist, interleave with a blank piece of paper every few pages, put a board over the book, and put a weight on the board. One must make sure that the board is slightly larger than the book.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
An important part of preparing for disasters is to practice and experiment before a disaster. An excellent drill is to get books wet in clean tap water and then air dry them. Get a broad range of books wet and see what happens as they dry. A couple of the books that we worked on at OceanTeacher Academy got so wet and heavy that the text block started to tear away from the cover. When that happens, it’s best to separate the text from the cover and dry separately.
Another book had pages that started to stick together. Using a simple beveled kitchen tool with rounded corners was used to separate the pages. The tool was gently inserted between the pages and then gently wiggled to separate the pages.
Sometimes a word was lost when a tiny piece of the page stuck to the other page. With just a word lost here and there, it was still easy to read the text. However, an important consideration is to think about how long one should spend on a book. Is the book worth spending 2-3 hours, separating each page? Or can it easily be replaced?
Since we are simulating a disaster, we are using tools easily at hand and not tools from a conservation lab
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Recently, a 1958 copy of “The Silver Spoon Mystery” by Dorothy Sterling came to Susan, and she knew she could make it more stable, as well as more visually appealing. In fact, she had to.
This book was held together by royal blue duct tape, and the title was hand written on the tape in thick black permanent marker. To say these are Preservation “no-nos” is an understatement.
To stabilize the book, Susan did a reback treatment to replace the spine. During this process, Susan carefully removed the duct tape, and was pleasantly surprised to find the original spine. She removed it, and carefully scraped away the large amount of tape residue. Susan completed the reback by reattaching the original spine cloth to the volume, making the book appear much more like it would have when first published.
It’s all in a day’s work in Book Repair, but Susan’s effort has given “The Silver Spoon Mystery” a longer shelf life.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Binding a 10,000 page book is no small task! You can’t get your hands around all 10,000 pages at once so the book needs to be assembled into smaller units and then bound together using a specially constructed press to hold everything in place, nicely squared up, until the book text block is dry. Then there is the special challenge of making and attaching a book cover. The binding and cover must be strong and flexible so that the book can be opened and read. Finally, the book must be supported while reading, which can be done by using blocks to support the “shorter” side and adjusted as the reader turns the page. It generally takes about 3 hours to bind a 200-page book. This book took 24 hours spread over 4 days with a ½ day devoted to making a special press.
The text below describes the process that Bill Voss used. Feel free to skip the explanation and go straight to the slide show below at the end of the blog!
After research and consultation with others, Bill decided to use what we call a “perfect” binding, which is done by fanning the spine of a text block of loose sheets, applying PVA glue and then fanning the other way and applying more glue.
Since a two foot thick text block can’t be fanned all at once, Bill broke the text into 20 sections of five chapters (500 pages) each and glued them separately. A special press was constructed which would allow the sections to be jogged and hammered square to each other while under pressure. This press consists of a three sided box and press boards constructed from melamine particle board so as to accommodate the dimensions of the sections, which are a standard 8 ½ x 11”. After each section was glued up it was placed vertically between boards and pressed with clamps.
When all the sections were dry, kerfs (narrow channels) were sawn into them so that two sunken cords could be glued into the spine across its width to further strengthen the binding. All 20 sections were then assembled together in the press and clamped tightly while the cords and subsequent linings (kozo, cotton acrylic cloth, paper) were applied to the spine. Finally a large case was constructed and attached to the text block.
The finished binding is somewhat unwieldy, but can still be carried and opened to any point by a single person and can be supported while open by the simple expediency of placing a sufficient number of boards under one of the covers while the other cover rests on the table.
Kudos to Bill Voss, Bu Wilson and Dave Morice (Dr Alphabet) for working together to create, publish and bind the “Poetry City Marathon”.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Today we put into practice everything that we had learned over the five days. When students came to class they learned that there had been a “disaster.” They had to work in teams to recover the water and mud covered CDs, photographs, and books. They even had to deal with the paparazzi who asked them about the disaster and how much it would cost to recover. They knew that they should just tell the reporter that they didn’t know the extent of the damage and were working to stabilize the situation.
They learned that snakes and bugs could be a problem and that they needed to take appropriate precautions. They rinsed the books and packed them for freeze drying and set the CDs and photographs aside for air drying.
They learned that working in a team is a good thing. No one can handle a disaster onhis/her own. Students were encouraged practice the drills with colleagues once back home.
Monday, July 5, 2010
We checked our books after 5 days of air drying to see if they were dry. None were completely dry. Although several looked dry, when we touched the pages with the palms of our hands, the pages felt cool which meant they were still damp. A few books were ready to press. The rest we set out to air dry. We’ve learned that air drying takes a lot of patience.
We continue to learn about being prepared for a disaster.Today we did an exercise called ” My Aunt’s Dinner,” an exercise learned from the Campbell Center in Illinois. We divided into teams and discussed how we could host a dinner for 40 relatives after our Aunt had a fire in her kitchen and asked the team to host the dinner. The team had two days to host the dinner.
Some teams decided to call the relatives and delay the dinner. Other teams held the dinner on the regularly scheduled day and asked the relatives to bring chairs, dishes and a prepared dish. This exercise put the team through the disaster planning steps and had a group work together to deal with a disaster.