At the end of June, the Preservation and Conservation Department welcomed our new conservator, Giselle Simon. Giselle joined us from the Newberry Library in Chicago. We were so excited for her to get here so we could put her straight to work on very important tasks, like boxing up office supplies, moving boxes around and vacuuming cabinets!
Giselle is a great addition to our department and we are so happy to have her here!
Change was a foot this summer in the UI Libraries Conservation Lab. We started the summer by starting to pack up our lab space in preparation for our move to the 5thfloor of the library. It was a long, sometimes sad process but we knew that moving to a new clean space would be worth it.
Saying goodbye to our old space turned out not to be that hard when we were finally able to see our new space on the 5th floor. It is clean and bright and we were able to lay out the space in a very cohesive manner.
My favorite spot in the new lab is the model collection and meeting area. There is a great table to sit at with the entire conservation model collection at your fingertips!
If you are interested in seeing the new space stop on up to the 5th floor and follow the signs.
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!
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 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.
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.
The materials needed for this treatment are:
PVA in a bottle
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.
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.
We have been working on many projects for various museums that got hit by the flood of 2008. Remember the entry way back on December 18 of 2009? We may have sounded elated about our accomplishments then, but now we are for sure! We have finally finished the rest of the flood-damaged phonograph records.
All 1580 10-inch LPs and 78 rpms were thoroughly cleaned, sleeved and boxed. We are estimating that this process took at least 400 hours. These records were returned to The National Czech& Slovak Museum within 30 boxes.
This time of year is full of spirit and creativity. We like to indulge ourselves with fun, small projects like the Conservation Holiday Ornaments. All these ornaments were made within our department by Jody Beenk, Lucy David, Dan Essig, Bill Voss, Susan Hanson, Bu Wilson, Cynthia Mosier and other conservation workers.
We have mastered miniature books, long stitch bindings, tools, boxes, etc. We hope you enjoy looking at these as much as we had making them. Happy Holidays!
Have you ever wondered what was in room 5065 “staff office” with the classification of the word typewriting across the door? Well, today is your lucky day. The room use to be a work space where PhD candidates’ dissertations were typed. Furthermore, this was our storage space for the items being recovered from the flood.
These shelves were piled with storage containers carrying anything from books to objects from The African American Museum of Iowa, The National Czech & Slovak Museum, and The Johnson County Historical Society. While it could be overwhelming imagining this space full; we are ecstatic to confirm that nothing pertaining to our department dwells there. You can breathe again and take in some of these pictures showing the unhabituated space.
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.
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.