MayDay – What’s in our disaster kit?

Each year archives, libraries, museums, and arts and historic preservation organizations set aside May 1 to participate in MayDay, an initiative created by Heritage Preservation to protect cultural heritage from disasters. Organizations are encouraged to do one thing for emergency preparedness. This year, the Libraries would like to share with you the content of our Emergency Response Kits.

The Fix – The Do’s and Don’ts in Caring for Paper Based Collections

We field a lot of questions in the Book Conservation Lab about caring for personal collections.  In the spirit of Preservation Week here are some answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions.  If you have additional questions we have a live “Ask Our Book Conservator Anything” April 30th from 12-2 PM!

Ask Our Book Conservator Anything!

On April 30th, in celebration of Preservation Week , the Smithsonian Libraries will host a question and answer session with our book conservator, Katie Wagner. Do you have a question about how to care for your own books or how we care for ours at the Smithsonian? Now is your chance to ask our expert!  

The Fix: Building a Custom-Made Book Measurer

This year, The Smithsonian Libraries (SIL) was given a monetary award by the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF) to re-house 558 folio volumes of special materials collections housed at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library (CHMDL). These items were identified as requiring housing/re-housing by contract book conservators who conducted the CCPF funded condition survey of more than 4000 items at CHMDL in 2011-2012.

Behind the Scenes on the Smithsonian-Gale Project

Last year, the Smithsonian began a partnership with Gale, part of Cengage Learning, to digitize content, package it, and make it available through libraries around the world. Gale debuted the first of these products with digital versions of the Smithsonian magazine and Air & Space magazine’s archive. The Smithsonian Libraries is excited to be a part of the second group of products, Smithsonian Collections Online: World’s Fairs & Expositions: Visions Of Tomorrow more »

Smithsonian Libraries Announces 2014 Professional Development Internships

The Smithsonian Libraries will offer new, paid internships for the Professional Development Program in the summer of 2014. These internships are open to graduate students interested in working in research and museum libraries. The Libraries will award up to three paid summer internships this academic year.

The Fix – Post Binding

Last year a book came into the Book Conservation Lab as part of the Smithsonian Libraries Adopt-a-Book program. The book, Systema Entomological by Heinrich Buchecker, was in two distinct pieces – text and plates.  The color lithographic plates, depicting dragonflies, were printed on paper that is a higher quality than the text. Unfortunately, the text is printed on highly acidic paper that has become brittle with age. Usually the decision to post bind is more »

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