Within the Smithsonian Libraries’ circulating collections, there are a variety of adhesive bound paperback books in need of rehabilitation. As the text blocks of these items are frequently built of more »
Category: The Fix (Preservation)
In March of 2018 Smithsonian Libraries conservator Katie Wagner, Ashley Jehle, objects conservator for the National Museum of African Art, and Preston Huff of the National Archives and Records Administration more »
Keala Richard arrived In November at the Smithsonian Libraries Preservation Department as its newest member. She applied for the position of Conservation Technician assigned to work on the Libraries’ general more »
In April 2018, Bruce Weissgold began volunteering with Preservation Services in the Libraries’ Book Conservation Lab (BCL).
Originally from Queens, New York, and a current resident of Virginia, Bruce recently retired after twenty-five years with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) where his specialty was International Wildlife Trade Policy.
The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History’s 1602 edition of Ulisse Aldrovandi’s De animalibus insectis has always been a favorite of mine, and the rest of our special collections staff. Aside from being the first European work dedicated solely to the natural history of insects and featuring numerous incredible woodcut illustrations, it also retains its beautiful contemporary binding. But this binding is just as dangerous as it is lovely: the green paint adorning the vellum of the front and back boards is laced with arsenic.
In the Book Conservation Lab we sometimes treat books requiring intricate repairs. In November, Kaigara Danmen Zuan printed in Kyoto in 1913 and authored by Yoichiro Hirase came to us for repair work. It was recently adopted through an Adopt-a-Book event hosted at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The book itself is from that museum’s library.
Hirase was a prominent malacologist (mollusk scientist) in Japan who collected over 3,500 seashells, 1,000 of which were new discoveries at the time. The idea for this book came from his experimentation with cutting shells at different angles producing cross sections that, when inked, produced interesting stamps.
This post was written by Ludivine Javelaud, intern in the Book Conservation Lab. I am currently a conservation graduate student at the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris and I more »