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 Zuanprinted 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.
In February, Ludivine Javelaud began a six month internship with Preservation Services in the Libraries’ book conservation lab.
Ludivine was born in Limoges in the Limousin region of France. At an early age, she discovered a love for drawing and Art and she fondly recalls regular family visits to museums, castles, and historical sites. These experiences led her to initially consider training to become a paintings conservator and she pursued and completed degrees in Art History at the Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV). During her courses in Art History, she found employment in various libraries and archives to help support her studies and discovered that paper based works, such as drawings, engravings, and books, were her favorite media. She decided to embark on an additional course of study and is now in her fourth year at the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris where she is working toward earning a degree in Conservation of Heritage with a specialization in Books.
In early March, the Smithsonian Libraries Preservation Department hosted the workshop: “Removal of Pressure Sensitive Tape and Tape Stains”. The instructors Linda Stiber Morenus and Elissa O’Loughlin have taught more »