Skip to main content
Craig Preservation Lab

A Glimpse into the Paper Lab

Hello Fair Blog Readers!

My name is Natalie Guingrich and, as the newest addition to the Preservation Lab, I thought I would introduce myself and offer a glimpse into some of the projects I have worked on over the past 2 months.

I am the Lab’s Paper Conservation Technician, which means I work primarily with flat, unbound material, like posters, maps, and loose paper materials. The items that we work with come from many different parts of Indiana University Libraries, including University Archives, Lilly Library, and Wells Library. Working with such a large variety of materials lets us have a glimpse into many different sides of the libraries and come across items we may not have sought out ourselves but are incredibly interesting!

Lilly Library

One of my favorite parts of the job is getting to interact with uncatalogued materials! I have had the opportunity to work with some of the materials from Lilly Library’s Kripke Collection and every foray into that collection has incredible surprises! I am in the process of unframing flat materials, as well as helping remove plastic sleeves to better store these materials until they are able to be cataloged. Here are a few of my favorite discoveries:

A tiny dictionary next to a hand for reference. The dictionary is shorter than the index finger.
A tiny dictionary that fits in the palm of your hand
A letter from Noah Webster to a Mr. Fletcher dated Feb 7, 1838
A letter from Noah Webster to a Mr. Fletcher dated February 7, 1838
A draft of an early dictionary page including: Billow, Billowing, and Billowy
A draft of a dictionary page
Decorative paper with red and orange florals, shiny golden cats, and a shiny silver background
A decorative paper with gold and silver designs
Map of the 1940s Worlds Fair in New York featuring : Liberty Lake, Constitution Mall, The Avenue of Transportation, and the Court of Peace
A map of the 1940s World’s Fair in New York

University Archives

Three thick scrapbooks with gold designs on the covers on a table

One of the first projects I had the opportunity to work on were several scrapbooks from University Archives. The adhesive that had been used when the scrapbooks were originally made had mostly deteriorated (and lost their stick), so my job was to go through and reattach the ephemera to each page using wheat starch paste. After all three volumes were intact, I then was able to create custom enclosures with the help of our Kasemake specialist Herb McBride.

Scrapbook open to page containing a ticket stub, a theater program from the Importance of Being Earnest from the 1962-63 Indiana University Theatre Season, a crimson-colored leaf and a branch with many small leaves

Wells Library

Often, we receive items straight from the catalogers to ensure items are stored in a way that will protect them from damage over time. In this case, it was a group of posters in French. We decided to make a four-flap enclosure for them. Before I made the full-size enclosure, I made a model to make sure the design would work the way I intended. Due to the size, the enclosure was constructed with 4 sheets that came together in the center.

Very large four-flap enclosure next to a small mock-up of the enclosure

Another project that I loved working on was mending and creating enclosures for 240 Indian Film Booklets from the 1930s to the 1970s. These booklets often included lyrics for songs in the films as well as a synopsis of the plot of the film. Many of them were in multiple languages, with one language in the front and a second language, like English, in the back. Each cover was unique, and many showed incredible artwork. Shown below are two of my favorites!

Cinema pamphlet cover with a geometric design that forms a womans face in primary colors
Cinema pamphlet cover depicting a butterfly landing on a flowering tree branch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.