Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Xmas in July; How Material Comes to the Lab for Treatment

Special collection items needing treatment are entered into a File Maker Pro database by my conservation liaison who works in Special Collections.  She is the filter for taking requests from the rest of the Special Collections staff and is my direct link to the collections.  This facilitates workflow and communication which makes all of our lives easier.  I am able to go into the database and select items by priority needs and by treatment needs.  So if there are items being used for a class coming up I can see that and will put that on my request list or if there are a batch of items all needing paper repair I can have those pulled all at once in order to expedites that type of repair.  I try to work on a group of about 10-15 items at a time and when we are done with that group I select the next group.  Of course if there are rush requests we always fit those in.  When I go to select the material I never know what exactly it will look like so when we review the items for treatment it's always a bit like Xmas.  Many items have been put into temporary boxes for safe keeping until the conservation has been done, so opening boxes can be quite fun.  Below are a few examples of the variety of items that came up for treatment recently.

A marriage certificate with wax seals.

A collection of cigarette cards needing housing.

A travel scrapbook with mounted postcards.

A jigsaw puzzle needing housing and the box repaired.

Addressing an old mend.

Old paper book jacket on journal.

Journal using every part of the paper.

Common Place book with inserted writing pages.

Miniature book travel set.

Written by Deborah Howe

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