On November 20-22 the Smithsonian Libraries hosted a three day workshop, “Understanding Asian Papers and their Applications in Paper Conservation,” given by Minah Song, a paper conservator at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia. The workshop began with a lecture on the process of papermaking in China, Korea and Japan and then moved onto hands-on techniques including learning different lining techniques, toning or paper with fiber reactive dyes, parchment repair and more »
From the outside “A Samoan Dictionary” looks fairly innocuous, but inside lies horror that would strike fear in the heart of any conservator (or book lover). The cover looks like an after thought – a simple piece of vellum with a handwritten title. Upon closer inspection it is evident that the cover is a recycled piece of vellum. The faint images of rows of typed numbers are visible to the naked eye. more »
April 21-27 is Preservation Week! In honor of this event, we’ve featured preservation-related content on the Smithsonian Libraries’ blog as well as our other social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting a peek at preservation activities at the Smithsonian Libraries and beyond. Today we have few helpful links that might assist you in caring for your own books and collections!
The conservation lab received, from the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library, a first edition of the first Bauhaus exhibition catalog: Staatliches Bauhaus, Weimar, 1919-1923. In addition to being a rare copy of this catalog, it is inscribed to the painter Werner Drewes by his Bauhaus teacher, Wassily Kandinsky. The book was in disrepair with the covers detached. A spine “replacement” fashioned out of a piece of electrical tape had left tape residue on the Herbert Bayer designed cover. Additionally, the paper used for the catalog was highly acidic and discolored and the acidic clay coated plates were chipping.
The Special Collections-Preservation paid internship program for the summer of 2010 has selected Carrie A. Gross of Riva, Maryland. Carrie, presently enrolled as a MLIS student at Catholic University is expecting to graduate in December of 2010. Her long-standing interest in literature and books, as demonstrated by her undergraduate studies at the College of William and Mary, has lead to her goal of rare book and manuscript librarianship. Carrie has pursued both work and educational opportunities that support her desire for a rare books career. Most recent is her participation in various projects with the Maryland State Archives, including practical work in their conservation lab. The opportunity to work with the Dibner Library's collection of manuscripts and rare books is what drew Carrie to apply for the internship. Her duties so far have included unboxing and organizing Dibner transfer materials from other Libraries collections. Included are 19th century scientific journals that, once sorted, will be shelved with the existing journal collections. Carrie also spends one day a week in the more »