Monday, September 15, 2014

Kress Conservation Fellow Tessa Gadomski arrives!


In August we announced that we were recipients of a Kress Conservation Fellow grant from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. grant.


On September 8th, Tessa Gadomski, started her Fellowship. Tessa, recently graduated with a Master of Science in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, with a major in Library and Archives Materials. Along with this degree, she has also completed a Certificate of Advanced Study in Preservation from Simmons College, Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Delaware receiving Honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Conservation, her second major was Art History with a minor in Chemistry.

Tessa has worked are the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Weissman Preservation Center of Harvard and Heugh-Edmondson Conservation Services in Kansas City Missouri which specializes in restoration of works of art on paper and photographs.
One of her intern appointments was at University of Delaware, working on Russian Icons. She created a reproduction of a Russian icon using traditional materials and techniques, and then participated in conserving a Russian icon from the University of Delaware Museum’s Collection.

While here at Dartmouth Tessa’s focus will be to address and perform conservation needs of Rauner’s Iconography collection. This collection within Special Collections has over 1,300 cataloged items that include printed images, glass slides, original art on paper and other media, photographs, albums and digital files. A particularly significant subcategory of the collection is focused on the history of Polar exploration.

Tessa is well prepared for such a project with her broad background and wide experience, not only will we be able to advance the work needed on this collection but we will be able to learn from Tessa and glean new techniques and ideas she can share from her conservation experience.

Tessa is original from Albany, New York, so she is very happy to be back in the northeast closer to her family.  Welcome Tessa!

Written by Deborah Howe

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top Dog


Dartmouth College is located in rural New Hampshire along the Connecticut River and Appalachian Trail System.  Although the Library and College are a fast paced place to work after 5pm things slow down to the quiet rhythm of small town life.  I moved to West Lebanon, NH from Chicago and the things that have kept me here are the simple pleasures that make this a special place to live and raise a family.

All of this is by way of allowing me to brag that my dog won the Lebanon, NH Top Dog Contest.  I admit it has nothing to do with preservation or the book arts.  File it under Summer's End.


2014 Top Dog
Nancy Drew, age 16

Written by Barb Sagraves

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Attachments: Book Arts Style

My last post discussed attachments with a conservation focus. Sometimes the creative possibilities are more important than the archival ones, or piercing holes in items is part of the artwork itself. In that case, here are some further ideas to attach loose items onto a page or in a book.

Just keep in mind that some of the methods below may create permanent changes in the mounted item and are not recommended for valuable, historic, or borrowed materials. Consider the long-term effects of any of these before using in your own projects.

As we saw in the last post (July 22) these were some options for attaching loose items to pages:

Paper clips:

Historically paper clips were made of metal, but those can be prone to rust over time in certain environmental conditions. Alternative shapes to the classic double loop include this dog and the circle. Those made from plastic or coated wire are also commonly available. The binder’s clip is useful for thicker materials. Both paper and binder’s clips come in a variety of sizes.


Eyelets:
 

This creates a hole in both the page and the item attached. It requires an eyelet setter such as this one often available where craft or sewing notions are sold.

Brads: 


Brads usually come in a brass colored metal, but are also available in mini sizes and in a variety of colors. Some even have a shaped head, such as a star or square, like this one.  Brads, like eyelets
and staples, create holes in both item and page.

Staples: These can be hard to remove without causing damage.

Adhesive: Paste and Glue

Adhesives are generally a permanent method of attachment, whether glues, double-sided tapes, or dry-mount adhesives.  Pastes (as opposed to glue) are generally reversible, however they often leave evidence of their application and use.

Pockets & Envelopes:

Loose pockets or envelopes can be attached by a variety of methods, like any loose item. They can also be incorporated into an album during its creation by sewing them in as part of a section or in binding of single sheets. Extensions (or guards) can be attached to the binding edge to allow for ease of use, like in this example where the purple extension is sewn in on the binding edge of the brown envelope. This album is bound with screw posts.

Slits and slots:


Photo corners:


Snaps:

 
These plastic snaps are a scrap-booking item, and operate much like a traditional sewn snap, but are attached more like a brad. A tiny hole is made in both item and page. The two parts of the snap are inserted through from front and back and “snap” together holding them in place.

Screw posts:


Screw posts are much like eyelets, as holes must be made in both item and page. They can hold thin to very thick items, and come in a variety of metals. These are usually used for binding, with extensions available to adapt the original to hold a collection of expanding material. But they can be used for putting a single item onto a page. These are often available at hardware and stationary stores.

Adhesive: Tape

All kinds of tape can work: traditional adhesive tapes such as medical paper adhesive tape, electrical, masking, double-sided, or cellophane. Newer products like colorful washi tape can also be used highlighting the attachment or construction while at the same time adding decoration. Just keep in mind that all tapes have adhesive that is extremely difficult if not impossible to remove.

Needle and Thread:


By machine or hand sewing a needle and thread can attach paper together not just cloth. Paper is not as forgiving of mistakes when sewing, but it works well for many things. I’d recommend testing the paper, needle size and type, and thread combination with the intended materials before embarking on a big project.

Buttons:


Attached with thread, buttons can also be used with a paper page to attach items. To help avoid tearing through the paper, sew a small piece of Tyvek behind the button to reinforce the attachment. Old shipping envelopes can be cut up for this purpose. The button can be used to help secure the thread attachment, sewing through the item and page, or it can be used with a buttonhole if the item can be cut into and has enough flexibility and strength to do so. Often flat buttons are most useful, especially if they will go into some kind of book or album. Stores that sell scrapbook supplies often have such flat, decorative buttons, and these are available at sewing stores as well.

Paper Frames:




Like pockets and envelopes, paper frames can be attached to a page as a means to hold a photo or bound in as pages when binding a new album. These frames can be folded to fit a photo and hold it in place without using adhesive.




This photo shows the reverse side of the frame above.












As I mentioned in my last post, with all these attachment methods remember to keep the spine and foredge of your book balanced with regard to the thickness of your added items. Doing so will help you avoid the foredge splaying out and the book not closing. When creating a new binding, stubs can be added at the spine to accommodate the addition of items over time.

I hope these suggestions prove helpful. I often collect small pieces of paper or ephemera, especially as reference for future projects. Sometimes I just toss these into a box, but perhaps I ought to create a “book of inspiration” using some of these attachment methods. Like commonplace books of the past, my book would be both personal and useful. What kinds of uses do you see for these attachments? What other attachment methods do you find helpful?

Written by Stephanie Wolff

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kress Conservation Fellowship

Dartmouth Iconography Collection:
Portrait of Daniel Webster needing the outside case
repaired and possible stabilization of photo.


I am pleased to announce, on behalf of Preservation Services, that we are a recipient of a Kress Conservation Fellowship.

As quoted from their web site: “The purpose of the Kress Conservation Fellowship program is to provide a wide range of post-graduate fellowship opportunities that will help develop the skills of emerging conservators. At the crossroads of science and art, the fields of conservation and technical art history demand a complex knowledge of chemistry and materials and an extraordinary sensitivity to artistic intent, as well as physical dexterity, patience, and powers of concentration. Initial training, typically at one of a handful of institutions in North America, provides basic qualifications that must be supplemented with an extended period of specialized concentration on paintings, objects, textiles, antiquities, ethnic materials, photographs, prints and drawings, books and manuscripts, furniture, etc. Within a supervised environment, the young conservator develops the specific skills, the hands-on experience, and the confidence on which to base a future career.”

“The Kress Conservation Fellowships provide competitive grants to museums and other conservation facilities which sponsor supervised internships in the conservation of specific objects and onsite training.” This Fellowship has been supported by a grant from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

For more information: http://www.kressfoundation.org/fellowships/conservation/

Our application was submitted with a proposed fellow, Tessa Gadomski, who recently graduated with a Master of Science in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, University of Delaware with a major in Library and Archives Materials. Along with this degree, she has also completed a Certificate of Advanced Study in Preservation from Simmons College, Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Tessa’s first day will be the 8th of September, 2014.


Dartmouth Iconography Collection:
Acidic mat needing to be removed from water
color painting.

The primary focus for Tessa will be to address conservation needs of Rauner’s Iconography collection. This collection within Special Collections has over 1,300 cataloged items that include printed images, glass slides, original art on paper and other media, photographs, albums and digital files. There are documents that are part of the College Archives but it also includes several of the other collecting areas including the White Mountains, Daniel Webster and Robert Frost. A particularly significant subcategory of the collection is focused on the history of Polar exploration and the majority of its images relate to Dartmouth College and New Hampshire history. 

Dartmouth Iconography Collection:
Negatives of Dartmouth and New Hampshire needing rehousing 
and assessment.
Tessa will be at Dartmouth for a full year, concluding her Fellowship in August of 2015.

Written by Deborah Howe



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Attachments: Conservation

This spring a scrapbook compiled by the Dartmouth Educational Association came in for some minimal repairs. This archival volume is a bound book with numbered pages. It holds a collection of loose items that have been added to the book over time. Scrapbook compilers have not always given consideration to the long-term effects of their methods, often choosing materials they have on hand. That’s likely the case with this volume, because only one of the methods (paper clip) doesn’t alter the item. Its contents, though, are in pretty good shape. Despite its overfilled pages, the book needed little more than a spine repair. I thought I would highlight some of the attachment methods used in this volume, concerns about their use, as well as share some tips for attaching loose items to pages with an eye toward longer-term preservation of those items.

Paper Clips and Brads:


On this page, both a paper clip (the triangular silver metal piece) and a brad (the brass-colored item) have been used. Both are made of metal, which can be prone to rust over time in certain environmental conditions. (Though no rust was found here.) The brad also requires a hole in both the item and the page in which to place the flanges. Modern paper clips are available in plastic or coated metal that should not rust. Be careful of causing creases in the paper if using paper clips, and choose the proper size to accommodate the thickness of the papers.

Eyelets:


Interestingly, eyelets were used in this album. I imagine they were attached using an eyelet setter like this classic Bates Eyeleter. This method requires a hole in both the page and the item attached, similar to the brad attachment. Even without moisture to create rust, it’s possible for metal to discolor or damage the paper on a facing page as a result of friction or pressure.

Staples:

 

Some of the items were stapled onto the pages. Staples create holes in the item as well as the pages and can be hard to remove without causing damage to both. They are also made of metal and therefore can rust in a humid environment.

Adhesive: Paste or Glue


It’s hard to tell whether this card was attached with paste or glue. Adhesives are a pretty permanent method of attachment. Some pastes (as opposed to glues) are often reversible, however they can leave evidence of their use.

The items that were attached to these pages used some kind of permanent alteration to the item itself (application of adhesive or holes in the paper) except for the paper clip. When considering which attachment method to use in a similar type of album these days, here are a few other options that do not require applying glue to or piercing holes into the item, though they require glue or holes in the album page itself.

Slits and slots:  


To mount a photograph or other flat item onto a book page, make cuts in the base paper (a slit) or remove a narrow slice of paper (a slot) for thicker material. By locating these cuts diagonally at the four corners, the item can be slipped in and will stay without any adhesive.

Photo corners:


Photo corners come in a variety of styles: self-adhesive, gummed, clear, black or white paper, and they can easily be made by hand. Look for ones that pass the P.A.T. test (photo activity test) or have archival qualities, such as being made from acid-free materials. To make your own corners take a thin strip of acid-free paper (about 1/4-inch), at the center of the strip fold one side up at a 45-degree angle.


Then fold the other side up to meet and match the first side. Now you have a corner. Vary the thickness of the paper strip to change the size of the corner for larger or smaller photos. Once the corner is created, use acid-free tape or adhesive to attach to the mounting page or board. These can be used for other flat items as well as photographs.

A simple way of positioning the corners is to use the photo (or a facsimile of the photo of identical size and thickness) as a placeholder. Determine the location of the photo on the page and place a clean weight on top of it to hold in place. Next slip the four corners onto the photo. Then remove one corner, add or activate the adhesive and place back onto the photo and press down to attach to the page. Then do the same to the corner diagonally opposite the first corner. This will stabilize the photo. Continue with the remaining two corners and remove the weight when done.

Pockets & Envelopes:

Pockets or envelopes (choose ones made of acid-free materials) are a great way to add loose items to a page. They can be handmade or purchased and can be paper or clear Mylar. Mylar allows a view of the item without removing it. Use an acid-free adhesive (like glue or double-sided tape) to attach pockets and envelopes to the page.

With all these methods remember to accommodate the thickness of the items added to a bound volume by balancing the binding edge thickness with the foredge thickness to avoid the foredge splaying out and the book not closing. For just a few items this shouldn’t be a problem.

In my next post, on August 19th,  I’ll explore attachment methods more suited to a creative or book arts application.

Written by Stephanie Wolff

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Personnel Announcement

Michael Grant, a student of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts has begun a ten-week internship in Preservation Services.  Michael is pursuing a Masters in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation; in partial fulfillment of that degree he must complete three internships.  Over the course of the summer Michael will inventory and assess the condition of 16mm and 8mm films collected by the college in order to help Peter Carini, the College Archivist, determine which films should be added to the permanent collection of the College Archives.

Welcome Michael!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Digital Production Unit Update, Part 2


The primary focus of the Digital Production Unit over the past few months has been to incorporate the new reprographic system into our workflows. Since we started using the new equipment in January we have been able to take advantage of its speed and high quality imaging in a number of projects. 


We have redesigned our workflow for the Dartmouth College Photographic Files collection to use the new camera exclusively. The previous workflow for this ongoing project used two scanners on two computers and required additional post production work to gather all of the images together. Our new workflow consolidates all of that work onto one workstation. The streamlined workflow has created noticeable positive effects in the time it takes to complete work on this project.

Dartmouth College Photographic Files collection: (http://libarchive.dartmouth.edu/cdm/search/collection/photofiles/collection)

One of the first projects we tackled with the new equipment was to shoot recent Winter Carnival Posters. This was a great learning opportunity for us. The posters are large and colorful and gave us a chance to develop our skills with the hardware and software. We will add individual new posters as they become available in future Winter terms. In addition, we are in the planning stages of a project to reshoot all of the posters to upgrade the quality of our master images.


We have also been able to use the equipment in support of smaller projects in Rauner Special Collections and for exhibits by Education and Outreach. Other work with the camera includes one-offs for various projects, quality assurance and corrections.


In other news, we continue to redesign our work area. We recently moved all of the scanning equipment into room 2D, turning that space into our scanning lab.

By Willliam B. Ghezzi