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Tag: Freer Sackler Gallery Library

Charles Freer’s Library

Spine of book from Charles Freer’s collection, showing hand-written accession numbers.

In addition to his art collection, Charles Lang Freer gave a substantial number of books from his personal library to the Smithsonian Institution. These books are wide ranging in subject matter including not only Asian and American Art but also mythology, anthropology, auction catalogs, and travel guides.  The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library staff has been working to find them in its collection and identify Mr. Freer’s books in the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS).

The Fix: Repairing “Home Life in Tokyo”’s Original, Protective Portfolio Enclosure

Home Life in Tokyo, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library

A few months ago, a book from the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library came for treatment to the Book Conservation Lab: Home Life in Tokyo.  Our copy, printed in 1911, is a softback binding, common for Japanese publications, and according to the bibliographic record, it was “issued in a portfolio.”

Cloth covered portfolio enclosure (note the bone clasps)

The book itself was in very good condition, however, after many years of protecting the soft-backed book, the portfolio enclosure had become damaged and was no longer functional. One spine piece of the structure had completely failed at its hinges; the decorative printed cloth and the paper linings had broken.  The spine cloth fortunately was saved and sent along with the item.