Celebrating ALA Preservation Week

ALA Preservation Week is officially at the end of April, but here at the lab we’ve decided to celebrate all month. This slideshow highlights what we’ve been up to lately, some of which can be seen in greater detail in earlier blog posts. We have also set up an exhibit in the West display case of the Wells Library. We encourage you to stop by if you get a chance.


In preparing for preservation week, we’ve taken the time to look back on our recent work, and it’s really gratifying to see not just the breadth of material that the library collects but also the variety of conservation treatments that we are able to perform, thanks to our fantastic facility and the support of our administration. With these tools at our disposal, we make decisions that take into account nearly every facet of the library’s needs. Of course the condition of the item speaks most directly to the required conservation treatment , but we also use that professional judgment to take into account the context of the collection to which the material belongs. Every new treatment we add to our repertoire enables us to more completely and consistently treat the collection as a whole, while maintaining the care that individual condition assessment entails.

As the library continues to fill the growing demand for digital access, the Preservation Lab works to stabilize materials for digitization and to restore the paper copy to a usable condition when the digitizing efforts have caused damage. We work to preserve those items that have already been recognized as unique, rare or special to the research needs of the University and stand poised to do the same for the material whose significance will be recognized by our scholarly community in years to come. Join us in celebrating the excellence of IU by recognizing the role of preservation plays in achieving the University’s mission and that of libraries across the nation.

Don Etherington visit to IUL Preservation Lab

The highlight of the fall 2010 semester at the IUL Craig Preservation Lab was a workshop on leather and tissue rebacking which was taught by Don Etherington.  Three members of the Preservation Lab staff (Miriam Nelson, Annita Salkola-White and Nicole Wolfersberger) applied for, and received, the Herbert and Virginia White award which furthers staff development within IUL.  They used those funds to bring Mr. Etherington to Bloomington to conduct the three day workshop and to give a talk on binding at the Lilly Library.

ALF2 Construction Update – May 28, 2010 – shelving installation-1

The construction crew has been hard at work installing the framework for the shelving for ALF2.  It is pretty amazing the speed with which they are getting the framing up and how much as been accomplished in a relatively short period of time.  Two semi-trucks loaded with shelving, or parts of shelving, arrive daily and the crew works until that day’s shipment is installed.  This batch of photos was taken about ten days into the process.

ALF2 Construction Update – May 17

The first shipment of shelving arrived this morning (May 17, 2010) which means that the facility is, more or less, complete.  There were a few construction crew doing what appeared to be some final touch-up items and working on the fire doors that separate the two sections of the ALF.  This set of photos should give some idea of the size of the facility.

Craig Lab – Quarterly Report (January – March 2010)

E. Lingle Craig Preservation Lab

Quarterly Report

January – March 2010

During the first quarter of 2010, the Craig Preservation Lab processed 3,929 items.  Various types of enclosures were, as usual, the bulk of our treatment with 2,921 items receiving an enclosure.  Of these 1,341 were made using the Kasemake and most the remainder were done by the staff in the General Conservation section of the Lab.  During this same period, Bindery Prep completed treatment on 2,528 items of which 1,655 were serials.

Special projects and activities for the period included:

Doug Sanders was contacted by the office of the President and asked to coordinate the design of a series of albums and housing that are being used to preserve the most significant accomplishments of the University during President McRobbie’s tenure.  The first of these projects was the completion of a custom scrap book and enclosure that houses the President’s office materials related to the awarding of the Noble Prize in Economics which was presented to Dr. Elinor Ostrom.  Several staff members of the Lab worked on this project.  Photos documenting the final product as well as a short description can be found elsewhere on this blog.

Garry Harrison was called on to advise the staff at the Cook Music Library on a mold remediation issue of materials and artifacts from the Leonard Bernstein Estate.  After discussing the issue with the Music Library staff, the Preservation Lab provided the Music Library with a HEPA vacuum, dry cleaning sponges, and personal protective equipment for use in the cleaning of the affected items.  Garry also responded to a mold question that came from the IUL Technical Services department.

Harrison gave advice to Allison Stankrauff of IU South Bend regarding locating a conservator for a grant-funded project to preserve a gift collection at IUSB.

Sanders worked with the Institute for American Thought at IUPUI on a NEH Preservation Grant application.  His work included visiting the institute, devising a list of storage materials that would need to be purchased to preserve the materials should the grant be forthcoming, and writing a letter of support for the application.

Mary Graham Uthuppuru has been heavily involved in exhibition preparation in the Lilly Library due to the various Lilly 50th Anniversary exhibits.  The most significant exhibition to date this year has been the exhibition in the Main Gallery Treasures of the Lilly. In addition the Lincoln room contains the exhibition materials related to One Book, One Bloomington – The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.

Beginning in March, Mary has been working with students from SLIS who are enrolled in a course that requires that they install an exhibition.  Every Monday this has meant that two students install, while two other students take down, an exhibition.  This assignment provides the students with in-depth, hands-on experience in the exhibition process.

Mary completed the writing of a training manual for students on the housing and computer procedures used by her in Lilly Conservation.  This manual provides a cohesive, and thorough, reference for students to consult as needed.

Mary also announced that she would be resigning her position at Indiana University effective April 15 in order to pursue personal projects.  She will be greatly missed.

Miriam Nelson, Anitta Salkola-White, and Nicole Wolfersberger submitted a joint proposal for the Herbert and Virginia White Award to fund professional development opportunities.  In addition to working on a proposal that would benefit them, they also considered their colleagues elsewhere in IUL and added an open presentation to be held at the Lilly Library as a part of their application.

There were a number of short-term items that involved various members of the Preservation Lab staff including: guest lecture for SLIS course being taught by Cherry Williams, tours of the Lab, and offering advice to the GIKCS, Kinsey Library and IUAM on preservation issues.

The Preservation Advisory Committee was reconstituted and held it first meeting.  Two topics for further investigation were discussed: (1) large-scale, on-going deacidification with a possible emphasis on materials that come from Latin or South America, Tibet, Eastern Europe or China; and, (2) brittle books.

Upcoming Projects

Doug Sanders is working to put the Leafcaster machine in operation.  This device has been in the Lab for a number of years but has apparently never been used.  Sanders is familiar with its basic operation and hopes to have it operational in the near term.

Sanders and Wolfersberger have had an article accepted for publication in the Spring 2010 issue of Guild of Bookworkers Journal.  The title of the article is:  Ergonomics and injury prevention in the book and paper lab.

Two long-term projects, the rehousing of several hundred medieval illuminated manuscript fragments and a stabilization effort for several hundred severely damaged manuscript leaves from the Thiebault collection, for Lilly Library are underway.

ACRL Awards Ceremony

Indiana University – Bloomington received the 2010 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award given by ACRL and YPB to recognize “an outstanding community college, college, and university library each year. This award is to recognize the accomplishments of librarians and other library staff as they come together as members of a team to support the mission of their institution.”  The award was presented to Dean Brenda Johnson at a ceremony held in the Wells Library lobby on April 1, 2010.  Here are a few photographs from that ceremony.

Presidential Scrapbook

A few months ago we were approached by President Michael McRobbie’s office to create a series of scrapbooks commemorating achievements during his tenure. The first is an album recording the events around the 2009 Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony honoring Elinor Ostrom as one of the two winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Mr. and Mrs. McRobbie were part of the group of delegates from IU who attended the ceremony. The album serves as a scrapbook for programs, menus, tickets and other ephemera from their trip to Stockholm.

clamshell with contents

Nicole Wolfersberger and Doug Sanders constructed the album to hold the items collected. The Office of Creative Services along with the President’s Office selected materials and determined the final layout of contents.

Scrapbook layout

The album is a post-bound structure covered in Canapetta bookcloth with contrasting Asahi bookcloth pastedowns. Post-bound structures are notorious for not opening to the gutter, so we tackled the problem by hinging conjugate leaves to stubs. The stubs were created using 40-point board to compensate for the swell that would occur when the album was full. As you can see in the picture, the pages drape well and open fully. On the cover we created a circular recess to hold a foil wrapper from a chocolate coin given at the banquet to represent the Nobel medal.

Scrapbook binding

Many items were too thick to be supported by the cover-weight paper used in the album. Anitta Salkola-White and Miriam Nelson created trays to hold these objects. To lessen overall weight, archival corrugated stock was used, covered with matching bookcloth. The ribbons provide access for removal.

item traystack of trays

Due to the size and weight of the album and trays, a sturdy double-walled clamshell box was made, covered with the same cloth as the album. This collection of materials will be used by the President’s office to promote achievements of those affiliated with Indiana University. Eventually, it will find a home in the University Archives.
Stay tuned for more albums!

ALF2 construction update – February 19, 2010

The roof of ALF2 is just about to be finished (or at least it seems that way). Several of the machines that have been doing the heavy lifting have been taken away and most, if not all, of the ceiling struts look to be in place. These photos were taken on February 18 and show how much has been completed in the past few weeks.