Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oddities in the Work Place

One of the unique things about working in a library conservation lab is the frequent occurrence of odd visuals. Over the years I’ve taken many photos of such incidents in the hope of doing something with them, so I thought a blog post or two would be the perfect venue. I’ve broken them up into rough categories.

Work Bench Scenes
These are from a co-worker who was often very inventive in organizing and getting the job done quickly.

End of the day.
Fast Dry...this front board was warped, so it was relined using a piece of Mohawk. With the board set squarely on the shoulder and a systematic weight system plus a little extra airflow, it was finished in no time.
(Not recommended for delicate or rare items!

Unique Items

This may be not so unusual but I had never seen it before; a great idea for fitting more page space into a smaller shape.
As you can see, the book folds together and becomes half this size.
This is an example of an embossed binding with gold stamping and a marbled finish. Lots of bang for the buck!
This is called a papermaker's tear, a defect caused by water droplets on the surface of the paper as it's made. Apparently this papermaker was really sad the day he made this sheet.

What Happened?
When I see books like these I wonder where they've been and what dire circumstances might have caused such damage.

Did someone need some extra book cloth?
Was this used as a slide?

Home Repair
These are all interesting examples of things that should not be done to library books.

This poem seems to have been a favorite and was ripped out only to be reunited using some thread and tape.
Not only was this book repaired with duct tape (great for ducts, terrible for paper), someone also added their own marginalia to it.
Super reinforcement! If you look closely you can see they also used clear tape to help hold on the black tape.
Nice color contrast. Nothing like using whatever's on hand.

Hidden Secrets
These are the secret inner components of books that only conservators and bookbinders usually see.

Nice use of marbled paper for the inner case lining

Other types of paper reused for linings:

And last but not least…..what is that in the spine and why was it put there?

Perhaps a little added spine support and cushion?

That's all for today!

Written by Deborah Howe.

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