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.

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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