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

Banner Solution

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blog IMG_0077For months we’ve looked at the Jesse Jackson banner trying to figure out what to do with it. It was obvious from inspecting the banner that part of the damage was from folding the banner and not from the flood. Once repaired or at least stablized we didn’t want to fold it back up. The ideal would be to store it rolled rather than flat. We thought it was too fragile to withstand a tight roll. Purchasing a tube with an 8″ or larger diameter would cost $150 or more.

I took what I thought was a brilliant idea to our conservator, Gary Frost — building our own tube using multiple layers of thin archival tan board around a 5 gallon paint can. He suggested that buying a cement forming tube would be cheaper and easier. So we did.

The tube was, of course, acidic. We chose to line the roll with book cloth which gives a double barrier Blog IMG_0658 of adhesive and cloth between the banner and acidic tube. Other type liners could have just as easily been used — several layers of Mylar, polyethylene plastic sheeting, Tyvek, or heavy-weight acid-free paper.

Gary cut the tube down to size and then Linda and Caitlin lined it. As you can see, getting the cloth on smoothly is really a two-person job!

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Maximizing Poster Space

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blog IMG_0897 I have a cool tip that I thought I’d pass along. Last week we decided to take a poster to the American Library Association preservation section meeting describing how the flood and other recent events have impacted our department. Hauling a poster through the airport and onto an airplane is no picnic. I decided that the poster needed to fit in my suitcase (14″ x 20″) for hassle free transport. As you can image this makes for small pictures and text.

Preservation Assistant Bill Voss devised a way to maximize the small space so we could have larger Blog IMG_0905 photographs and text. I’m not sure which was more interesting to our audience — the message or the poster design!

Bill took the printouts of the images and text and mounted them on folded thin board. He added velcro dots to hold the folded board and mounted the board to the poster. Everything opens up and tucks inside the folded poster. When ready to display, just fold the boards against the velcro and voila! An attractive, interesting poster.

Storage is as important as treatment

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

dessicant bagThe objects we have received since the flood span a wide range of materials. Since we couldn’t work on everything immediately, one of the first things we had to address was proper storage. The wooden objects were set out to dry as were the baskets and miscellaneous plastic, ceramic, glass items. The metals however presented a problem. They were rusting and since we weren’t able to get to them immediately we needed to arrest the deterioration somehow.

After doing some research and consulting with Steve Stenstrom, an objects conservator, we bought large plastic tubs in which we could create a micro-environment for the metal objects. This allowed us more control over the condition of their surroundings. We put packages of plastic tub with metal objects and dessicants dessicant in the tubs with the metals to absorb any moisture which might contribute to the deterioration of the metal. The dessicant packets were switched out periodically and we were able to slow the process of rusting until we had a chance to stabilize the objects.

The items in the tub to the left are already cleaned and waiting to go back home to the African American Museum of Iowa.

Cleaning Moldy Books and Magazines

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Over the past few days, I have received several inquiries on how to deal with mold on books or magazines. Here are some tips.

The items need to be dry before working on them. Set them out somewhere away from people (I use my garage), to let the items dry. If the pages are damp, you may need to interleaf the pages with paper towels or copy paper (paper without any print). Once the items are dry you can start cleaning. You don’t need to use any disinfectants. Lightly dust mold off with a clean paint brush. If there is some stubborn mold you can try a damp cloth or sponge and gently wipe. Or, better yet, a non chemical natural sponge – usually advertised as a sponge for cleaning off soot. The sponge might be called absorene or dirt eraser. You should be able to get the sponge in a hardware store. You need to be careful not to erase the print! Mold can leave stains and those won’t come out. You’ll need to be careful that you are not trying to rub out a stain – you’ll just rub a hole in the page.


Wash hands frequently whenever handling material with mold. Monitor your own heath.

Mold spores enter the body by inhalation and through small breaks in the skin. It is impossible to determine ahead of time who will or will not be affected by exposure to mold. The best safeguard is to exercise appropriate precautions whenever there is an exposure to mold. The following safety precautions are recommended.
* Wear a N95 disposable respirator available in the Conservation Lab
* Use disposable gloves if handling the material
* Goggles or protective eyewear should be worn
* Don’t touch your eyes or mouth if you’ve touched a moldy item
* Wash your hands as soon as possible once vacated infected area
* Take a shower and wash your clothes in hot water and bleach
Illnesses due to exposure to mold can result from both high level, short-term exposures and lower level, long-term exposures.

The most common symptoms to exposures are runny nose, eye irritation, cough, congestion, aggravation of asthma, headache, and fatigue. Also, regardless of the species present, individuals with serious allergies, diabetes, asthma, respiratory problems, or compromised immune systems, as well as those taking steroid therapy, should avoid the affected area and materials.

Call your local conservation lab or preservation librarian for additional assistance. The can advise you as to whether you need a professional and how to obtain one. Or they can walk you through the steps.

Soaking LP Covers Works Sometimes

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The covers of the LP records in the Czech Slovak Collection come in different formats and conditions of which some are worse than others. Then there are those few that are exceptionally awful. This is an example of a double disc set in which the inner images fused together in the water, like the pages of a book.  I had to peel away all the layers of the cardboard that I could without damaging the cover images and it all came apart except the very inner facing images. I couldn’t separate these mechanically so I put the whole thing into a tray of warm water and photo flo using sheets of remay cut to size as a transfer support. I left it to soak for a few minutes until I was sure the water had completely saturated the paper. I then took a teflon lifter and the pages came right apart. There was a piece that got stuck and came away which you can see in the photo but after I had dried and flattened the cover I was able to mend it and put the piece back where it belonged. The image was dried open, flat between two blotters beneath weight.