The conservation lab receives items needing treatment in a variety of ways. For general circulating collections we rely on a user based system. The circulation staff is trained to recognize damaged material when the books are returned from the patron. This affords us a wide range of material that comes to us for repair. In any given day we receive the damaged items that are getting checked out within the library system.
Above is the current lineup of material to be repaired. Among the items received for repair this week are the very common 20th and 21st century books needing basic spine repairs. But as you can see we also get older paperbacks and publisher cloth bindings.
Here we have a selection of popular novels along with paperbacks and a quarter leather binding, which we will look at closer later.
We also receive items that we have previously treated, but which have failed. Here is a pamphlet where the sewing has come undone.
Also, it is not unusual to see repairs that have been done by our patrons. Here electrical tape was used to hold the spine together. Little did they know that there is a conservation lab here to take care of these problems.
This book has a pretty spine.
Here is the front of the quarter leather binding.
This has an interesting board attachment. The book is sewn on tapes which are laced into the boards. It is a tight back and has clearly gotten a lot of use.
This is the title page.
This gentleman seems to be having a good time! The book is brittle so it will go through a review process to determine if we still want to keep it in its physical format or migrate the contents to a digital format. The decision is up to the bibliographer of the subject field.
So like any conservation lab receiving a variety of materials, it is always interesting to see what might be on the shelves next!
By Deborah Howe