A book, The Flying Spy, from the National Air and Space Museum Library came to the Book Conservation Lab with a unique, though not exactly rare, problem: Pest Damage. As book lovers and good library patrons, we all know the importance of the proper handling of books. For example, we know to store them properly (up off the floor, away from damp conditions), handle them gently, and to not eat nor more »
Pamphlets, brochures, and other publications of thin width, are often bound with metal staples. The passage of time and environmental conditions, such as high humidity, may sometimes cause staples to corrode. Rust, flaking off of the metal, can stain and damage the integrity of the surrounding paper. To help maintain the longevity of an item that has suffered this type of damage, it is best to remove the staples and effect repairs more »
Faith Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut has a 195 year legacy that includes a noteworthy collection of historical materials, including an extensive collection of historical papers and artifacts. This collection holds several bibles dating back to the early 19th century, the most famous being the Rev. James W. C. Pennington Bible. A fugitive from slavery, James Pennington (1807 – 1870) became an internationally known preacher, writer, and abolitionist. He was the first more »
Older hardcover books within the Smithsonian Libraries’ circulating collections often contain unique information which serve staff and patrons over the course of many years. With age and use, these items sometimes begin to break along the hinges. The book cloth becomes frayed, torn, or cracked and the spine piece may separate completely from the boards. This damage necessitates a repair which will conserve and recreate the original binding structure as much as more »
As stated in the Fix’s previous post, “Fixing a Fold-Out Plate” fold-outs are commonly used to feature important illustrations and diagrams in books. Unfortunately, they are also common sights in book conservation labs, as they are frequently damaged in the process of folding and unfolding into and out of the book. Recently a book with a uniquely large (and damaged) fold-out illustration that was in the process of being digitally more »
Fold-out plates are often used to feature important illustrations or diagrams in many books related to science, technology, and history. Though a fold-out is designed to be frequently folded and unfolded, the stress on the creased fold lines from constant handling often causes the paper to break.
The conservation of manuscript pages can be very tricky. In the case of the McAuley Diary, from our Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, there were many issues. The manuscript consisted of multiple sized unbound sections housed together in a leather cover that was far too small for its contents. The pages were nearly all crumpled and torn and many pages had areas of loss. In this condition the text was more »
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