Due to the government shutdown, all Smithsonian museums are closed. For further updates on our operating status follow us on social media. Learn More
The Conservation Lab was excited to receive another Adopt-a-Book recently. The volume was Ostéographie ou description iconographique comparée du squelette et du système dentaire des mammifères récents et fossiles(1839–64) by the French Anatomist and Biologist, Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville.
The volume consisted of plates, in two sizes, that had been primitively stab bound with brown kraft paper covers. The binding was placing tremendous strain on the brittle plates at the sewing stations. Step one was the removal of the wrapper. Each of the plates was then dry cleaned avoiding any of the pencil marks. The plates were then washed in de-ionized water and in a bath of calcium carbonate treated water.
Tears in the paper were mended using Kizukishi Japanese paper and the holes created by the stab sewing were mended with Okawara Japanese paper. Both papers were adhered using Wheat Starch Paste. The plates and cover with then placed into custom made L-Sleeves for further protection. A paper label was adhered to the outside of the L-Sleeves using 3M Double Sided tape. Since the plates are two different sizes, trays were created using acid free mat board to separate the plates by size. A custom made double tray box was then constructed to house both trays of plates. In their preserved state the plates may be used by researchers without the need to touch the paper. Furthermore the stress caused by the binding is eliminated, preventing probably future damage to the plates.