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Craig Preservation Lab

Craig Lab Annual Report – 2011

The E. Lingle Craig Preservation Lab hit two milestones during the 2011 calendar year.

First, the General Collections Conservation Unit has treated over 125,000 items since July of 2000.  This unit is currently headed by Garry Harrison who is assisted by Anitta Salkola-White and Miriam Nelson plus our hourly assistants.  Second during 2011 Herb McBride noted that he has constructed over 100,000 enclosures using the Kasemake box making machine since its purchase in 2001.

The Craig Paper Lab, under the guidance of Doug Sanders, experienced a significant increase in treatments during 2011.  This was particularly noteworthy given that his full-time assistant resigned in late August to return to school.  The Paper Lab performed 906 treatments.  Of these, 248 were from the Lilly Library manuscript fragment project.  Another 140 were items we received from GIMSS (Government Documents).  The Paper Lab worked on items from another nine units and research centers of Indiana University.  Sanders worked with two volunteers during 2011 who together contributed approximately 160 hours to the Lab.  Doug spoke to or hosted five classes from SLIS or the College of Fine Arts.  He also began a collaborative program with Cherry Williams and a faculty member from the Chemistry Department that received funding from IUB for the research they are performing.  Finally, Sanders was asked and able to perform outreach services to a number of groups and individuals including: Phi Delta Theta, Monroe County Public Library, the IU Art Museum, IUSB, Indiana Memorial Union, and Smithsonian Institution Archives.  He was able to provide this outreach without any negative impact on the on-going treatment of materials the Paper Lab was working on.

The General Collections Conservation Unit, under the direction of Garry Harrison, performed preservation and conservation services on 11,572 items in 2012.  Of these, 6,250 were enclosures (excluding the Kasemake).  Most treatments (4,060) are basic, Level I type treatments but there were also 478 Type II and 377 Type III treatments performed by the staff.  Virtually all of our student/hourly staff were new with the beginning of the Fall semester.  New employees, by default, perform Level I treatments first so it is no surprise that these types of treatments were nearly double the number that had been done in Q3 (1,464 vs 710).  Harrison and Hufford wrote a lengthy blog entry on mold (Tale of Two Books) that was later revised and submitted to Indiana Libraries for possible publication.  The editor of Indiana Libraries has been in contact and it is expected that the article will appear in early 2012.  A new, department-specific, student handbook was written.  The online preservation manual that Harrison regularly updates was cited in e-Conservation Magazine (n22, November 2011: 68-69, 72).  Building on the Leather Binding workshop that the Lab hosted, our first venture into leather rebacking was successfully undertaken.

Using the Kasemake, Herb McBride manufactured 6,027 enclosures.  The largest single project was the construction of 2,418 boxes for the microfilm that was moved from Wells East Tower to the ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility) in response to remodeling that is planned for the Wells Library.  He also created 2,192 enclosures for the Lilly Library.  As of December 31, there was no backlog from any of the Libraries for which we use the Kasemake.

Jessi Steiner, working for the Lilly Library, had a major role in 61 exhibitions.  Of these 33 were main exhibitions and 28 were one-case installations.  A total of 214 items were displayed.  Jessi and her hourly/student assistant created 798 enclosures for the Lilly general collections, 375 enclosures for the puzzle and other miscellaneous collections (and provided measurements for an additional 448 corrugated boxes that were made on the Kasemake).  Jessi spent 205 hours performing general treatments and did an additional 501 other types of treatments/exhibition support.

Peggy Houston and her hourly/student assistants processed 15,624 items in Bindery Preparation.  Of these 9,160 were serials.

The coming twelve to twenty-four months are expected to be a time of change and reevaluation for the Craig Lab.  Two of our experienced technicians, Miriam Nelson and Nicole Wolfersberger have moved on:  Nicole returned to graduate school and Miriam accepted the position of Head of Preservation at Ohio University in Athens, OH.  Rebecca Shindel was recently hired as Nicole’s replacement and the Paper Lab seems to have reached equilibrium in the quantity of treatments that can be done given the size of the staff.  Miriam’s absence in the GCC may prove to be very significant.  However, we are going to use the near-term as an opportunity to evaluate our services and decide whether we need to modify what we are doing and how.  While this may create delays in how we treat some materials it is felt that in the long-run our services to the Libraries and the University will be better due to this evaluation.  In addition, there are changes elsewhere in IUL that may impact the flow of materials to and through the Lab and the impact of these changes cannot yet be gauged.

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