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Craig Jensen visits for top-down scanner/PPP Consultation June 2002

The UI and ISU Preservation Department’s hosted preservation imaging expert Craig Jensen at the University of Iowa Libraries from June 19-21, 2002. Jensen, who is based in Austin, Texas, co-developed the Elan GMK PPP (Precise Page Positioning) software used by both departments. Jensen provided instruction and problem solving advice with regards to the preservation imaging configuration of the Minolta PS7000 top-down scanner and PPP (Precise Page Positioning) software.

The subject of the tutorial was book imaging for production of paper facsimile. The group worked with several target texts in both book format and scanned microfilm. Jensen offered suggestions to more efficiently and successfully operate the equipment and advice on book handling and quality control. Both departments felt it was an immensely productive and enjoyable visit due to Craig’s knowledge, skill, and humor.

Craig Jensen in the PPP driver's seat.
Craig Jensen in the PPP driver's seat.
UI Assistant Conservator, Kristin Baum, and ISU Head of Reformatting, Cindy Wahl, work on a target book with Craig,
UI Assistant Conservator, Kristin Baum, and ISU Head of Reformatting, Cindy Wahl, work on a target book with Craig, who advised them in book handling and scanning techniques. The imaging job was projected on the wall above so other participants could view the image processing.
Craig, seated in front of the Minolta PS7000 Top-down scanner, answers questions from UI & ISU participants.
Craig, seated in front of the Minolta PS7000 Top-down scanner, answers questions from UI & ISU participants.

Field Trip to Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa May 2002

On May 30th, 2002, the UI Preservation Department headed west to Ames, Iowa, to visit its counterpart at Iowa State University. The day’s events provided an opportunity to tour ISU’s Preservation Department including the Collections Conservation, Binding, and Preservation Reformatting Sections.

The visit was the first in a series to establish a collaborative effort between the UI and ISU Preservation Departments. Future collaboration will include the development and streamlining of Preservation Imaging workflow utilizing the Minolta PS7000 top-down scanner in conjunction with the PPP (Precise Page Positioning) software.

Nancy Kraft, UI Head of Preservation, and Ivan Hanthorn, ISU Conservator, evaluate a document at the light table, while Susan Hansen, Bu Wilson (both from UI) and Cindy Wahl (of ISU) look on.
Nancy Kraft, UI Head of Preservation, and Ivan Hanthorn, ISU Conservator, evaluate a document at the light table, while Susan Hansen, Bu Wilson (both from UI) and Cindy Wahl (of ISU) look on.

Nancy Kraft’s 1 year anniversary at the UI Libraries

April 16, 2002 marks the one year anniversary of Nancy Kraft’s leadership of the Preservation Department at the the UI Libraries. She has done a great job heading up the department and been remarkably productive in her first year. Preservation staff helped her celebrate by decorating her office and giving her a small surprise party.

Nancy Kraft
Nancy Kraft

Completion of Boxing Project for Iowa Women’s Archives

The holdings of the Louise Noun-Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives at the UI Main Library include a diverse collection of dozens and dozens of scrapbooks made by Iowa women. The Conservation Department has made protective boxes for these unusual and sometimes fragile items. Since August 2001, Assistant Conservator, Kristin Baum, with the assistance of student interns Rachel Lapkin, Julie Cobb, and Tatiana Ginsberg, completed more than 85 custom enclosures in seven months, and a total of 125 custom enclosures have been made for this collection since 1999. The initial project is completed, although boxing will continue as additional scrapbooks are acquired by the Iowa Women’s Archives.

Field Trip to Library Binding Services, Des Moines (November 2001)

On November 27, 2001 a group of staff and students at the UI Libraries, took a trip to Library Binding Services (LBS) in Des Moines, Iowa. The purpose of the trip was twofold. The morning tours were designed to educate library staff about the manufacturing of the LBS products they use. Staff were asked to consider LBS facilities with a vision for potential future collaboration on binding based products that would enhance the maintenance and housing of the collections at the UI Libraries. The afternoon visit to Fritz James’ private library provided students a unique opportunity to study some interesting historical book structures. Participating in the trip were preservation staff Nancy Kraft, Gary Frost, Kristin Baum, and Susan Hansen, Sid Huttner, Head of Special Collections, as well as students from the class Structure of the Handmade Book.

In business since 1927, LBS is a chief manufacturer and converter of binding materials. Their commitment to research and development of binding products has lead to the development of two additional company divisions: Corporate Image, which manufactures presentation packaging such as binders, folders, software packaging; and Archival Products, which manufactures high quality preservation enclosures.

Highlights of our visit, which was graciously hosted by Fritz James, President of LBS, included:


The tour included visits to the Sample Wall, pre-press area, and the plant. The plant boasts a variety of advanced equipment including a 6-color German press. Innovation is key at Corporate Image and it is demonstrated by their ability to adapt their machines for a variety of product manufacturing.

Fritz James, President of LBS, and Sid Huttner, Head of UI Special Collections
Fritz James, President of LBS, and Sid Huttner, Head of UI Special Collections. In the background is the "Sample Wall," a diverse and impressive collection of Corporate Image product samples, including their Presentation and Easel Binders.
Fritz explains
Fritz explains how their specialized binders are covered.
Fritz explains
Fritz James explains the workflow at the Corporate Image facilities.


On this tour we learned how pamphlet and music binders, four flap enclosures, and other folders are produced. Much of the production is accomplished by hand.

Janice comer
Janice Comer, Division Manager at Archival Products, explains the workflow of the Archival Products facilities while we watch the production of Pamphlet Binders.


At the LBS Facilities, we learned how cloth is custom cut for each individual customer, as well as how endsheets are produced.

Lang Wightman
Lang Wightman, LBS Vice President, Production, explains how customized endsheets are manufactured.

Following the tours, we were provided lunch and an opportunity to discuss future collaborations with Fritz James and Janice Comer, Archival Products Manager.

After lunch, Fritz welcomed us into his home and personal library for a spectacular review of his collections. The students in Gary Frost’s Structure of the Handmade Book course were given the opportunity to study some impressive exemplars of the Ethiopian binding and 19th century Victorian publisher’s cloth binding.

Fitz James
Fritz James in his personal library.

The trip to the LBS facilities proved to be interesting, informative and valuable. The Preservation Department has gained a better understanding of the product potential at LBS and how a collaboration with them could greatly contribute to the care of the collections at the UI Libraries.

UI Libraries Welcomes New Head of Preservation

Release: June 14, 2001

The University of Iowa Libraries is pleased to announce the appointment of Nancy Ellen Kraft as Head of the Preservation Department at the University of Iowa Libraries. Kraft, who joined the UI Library staff on April 16, most recently served as preservation librarian at the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City.

“We are delighted to welcome Nancy, ” said Edward Shreeves, Director of Collections and Information Resources. “With her strong background in project management and planning, and her impressive work with other state organizations, Nancy will have a major impact on preservation initiatives here, at the University of Iowa Libraries, and more broadly.”

During her tenure at the State Historical Society, Kraft spearheaded several ambitious projects including the translation of over 3.9 million pages of newspapers onto microfilm through a federally funded program and, separately, the preservation of over 400,000 clippings of World War II Iowa newspaper articles also onto microfilm. She also directed the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium group effort to successfully secure National Endowment for the Humanities funding to develop an Iowa Statewide preservation action plan.

In reflecting on the challenges of her new position, Kraft said, “I come to the UI Libraries at a very exciting time in preservation. Never before have we had so many options available to provide access and care to our collections. The Libraries holdings range from a 14th century central Italian Missal and early photographs to brittle books and electronic theses. Each format presents its own challenges, and I am looking forward to meeting all the Libraries’ staff in charge of the various collections to assess these various needs.”

Kraft holds an MA in Library Science from the University of Iowa and a BA from the University of South Dakota in Russian and Library Science. She has published a number of articles on preservation and presented workshops on a variety of themes from disaster recovery to film preservation. Kraft has served on professional committees including the Iowa Governor’s Cultural Coalition, the State of Iowa Libraries Online Advisory Committee, the ILA/ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Working Group on Preservation, serves on the Board of the Linn County Historical Society and is the current President of the Iowa Library Association Foundation Board.

The University of Iowa Libraries is the largest library system in Iowa and the 29th largest academic/research library in the United States. The Main Library and 11 branch libraries contain nearly four million volumes. The mission of the Preservation Department is to maintain collection resources in useable condition and is responsible for activities that relate to the care and handling of both circulating and non-circulating library materials.

PEM Climate Notebook Field Trial, March 2001

UIL Preservation department PEM Climate Notebook Field Trial Beginning this March the Preservation department will participate in the PEM Climate Notebook field trial. This project involves beta testing of a next generation of software for management of environmental data recorded in collection storage areas. Both the software and instrumentation have been produced at the Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology. Of particular note is the capability of the software to calculate both a PI (preservation index) and TWPI (time weighted preservation index). The PI is a result in years that projects useful life expectancy for given collections under specific conditions of temperature and relative humidity. The TWPI projects a useful life expectancy that also factors in variations recorded at a given storage location.

Our part in the project will be to learn, utilize and evaluate the Climate Notebook software as we monitor two PEMs (Preservation Environment Monitors), one on station in our Special Collections third floor stacks and another in Special Collections basement storage.

The 18 month PEM Climate Notebook field trial program has approximately 180 participating institutions. These institutions vary widely and maintain every type of stored collections. The overall effort will result in the first comparative survey of collection storage conditions collected via equivalent digital recording and reporting methods and compiled to a single database for further analysis. Resulting findings, reflecting national storage conditions, will be published on the internet.

Heckman Bindery Tour

On October 25, 2000 four members of the University of Iowa Preservation Department took a trip to Heckman Bindery, inc. in North Manchester, Indiana. The purpose of the trip was to educate the preservation staff about the practices and procedures of a large library bindery. Paul Moeller, Anna Embree, Debra Miller and Susan Hansen took part in the trip.

Heckman Bindery, Inc. is the nations largest library bindery with a 100,000 square foot production facility and 4000 employees. All Heckman binding operations take place in the North Manchester facility and Heckman maintains a large trucking fleet for pick-up and delivery. Binding materials used in the facility (i.e. binders board, endsheets, buckram, spine cloth) are purchased from Library Binding Services (LBS) of Des Moines, IA.

Our visit to Heckman began with a tour of the binding facilities and a clarification of all the processes a book can go through in the facility. Highlights of the tour included:

  • The Mekatronics Ultrabind™ Integrated In-Line Adhesive Binder. This piece of equipment automates and streamlines the adhesive binding processes. After the covers have been removed, books are inserted into this machine; milling, notching, sanding, double-fanning, and the application of endsheets and a spine lining occur sequentially. The total time per book is about three minutes.
  • A demonstration of voice recognition software. Employees use this software as they measure the dimensions of books on the way to the casing line. As the measurements are taken, the information is spoken into a microphone and registered by a computer. The data is then sent to various stations within the plant where binding materials are prepared.
  • A tour of the conservation department. In this area restoration work is completed and custom enclosures, such as phase boxes, drop spine boxes and pockets are made. These services are done for private individuals as well as institutions. We were shown several examples of these services including family bibles, specialty boxes, and encapsulated books.

After the tour we were provided lunch and an opportunity to discuss problems, questions and concerns with the following Heckman Bindery executives: Greg Parnin, VP of Manufacturing; Jay Jellison, VP of Sales; Steve Sonafrank, Sales Representative; Bill DeWitt, VP of Information Services; Jane DeWitt, Manager Customer Services; Glenda Smith, Customer Service Representative .

Both interesting and informative, the trip to North Manchester, IN was a productive experience. The preservation department representatives gained a much better understanding of library binding procedures and this knowledge will undoubtedly facilitate communication and efficiency between the University of Iowa Libraries Preservation staff and Heckman personnel.

UI Libraries Names Conservator

Release: August 3, 1999

The University of Iowa Libraries is pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Frost as Conservator at the University Libraries. Frost is one of the most respected conservators and conservation educators in the country. He has worked as a conservator at the Newberry Library in Chicago, in private practice in Chicago, New York and Austin, and as a Vice-President of BookLab Inc., a commercial conservation facility serving a national library customer base.

Frost has taught conservation practice at the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia University and the University of Texas, Austin, as well as in workshops, presentations and seminars around the country. He has an extensive record of publications and exhibits, along with a wide range of professional contributions to the book conservation and book arts communities.

“With his strong background in both conservation practice and education, Gary Frost is well positioned to both maintain and strengthen the conservation program at Iowa. We’re excited to have him on board,” noted Edward Shreeves, Director, Collections & Information Resources at the University of Iowa Libraries.

“Gary is a dynamic figure in the fields of conservation, book arts, and the future of the book”, said Tim Barrett, Director of the UI Center for the Book. “I’m convinced he’ll have an important influence on the ideas we generate at the Center for the Book and the direction we take Book Studies at the UI.”

The Conservation Department at the University of Iowa Libraries is a nationally recognized conservation and teaching program founded in 1984 by the late Bill Anthony. Frost joined the University of Iowa staff in July.