Tag Archives: Collection processing

Repairing a loose binding

31 Aug

So here is a long overdue post. Sadly, this was the last repair I was able to do in the UCF Special Collections department. At least it was a fun last project.

Warning! This is a picture heavy post!

This is the front of the book “Essays of Elia” prior to doing any work. What do you see? Oh yeah, all that tape.

Book Spine, more tape!

And guess what, more tape and adhesive!

A close up of me slowly lifting the clear adhesive off of the inlaid gold ink.

Another closeup.

Tape is gone, but now the book is super sticky. So to fix that I bring in my secret weapon!

Magic Rub! A great non-abrasive way to rub off the sticky mess left by stickers/tape/etc.

Good as new! You would never know there was a sticker there! I wish all adhesive jobs were this simple.

Stickers are gone and the book is back to its original look.

Here is a torn page that has been repaired with Japanese tissue paper and wheat paste. You can barely tell that there was a tear! Fortunately this is all reversible in case better methods come along later. 🙂

This happens to a lot of older books. So we are going to go ahead and put that back together with some reversible PVA.

First I went ahead and found a small piece of Japanese tissue paper that would just cover the opening. This reinforces the repair.

Now I evenly cover the tissue paper with wheat paste.

And of course place it in the void. I used a stiff paint brush and a bone folder to ease the paper into the crack.

I have the previously repaired torn page between two sheets of acid free paper with just about 2mm of the left edge showing. I then use this as a guide for painting on the PVA because it makes a nice straight line. This is called ‘tipping in’.

Now I lay the paper in place and close the book. I then slide in a sheet of mylar on either side of the repaired paper just in case a bit of PVA seeps out. It is easier to pull glue off of plastic than it is paper. Even if it is reversible glue.

This was probably one of my favorite repairs. I love that there were multiple things that needed doing and I really enjoyed bringing the book back to life. Sadly, it was my last repair job at UCF as of now, but maybe I will be allowed to come repair items as a volunteer here when I get more free time!

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Processing the University of Central Florida Photograph Collection

18 Jun

One of my last assignments in the UCF Special Collections department was to reprocess the University Photograph Collection (UPC). The archives had been acquiring photographic prints from various departments and individuals around campus and wanted to add these new items to the finding aid as well as incorporate them into the collection.

There was a fellow student assistant who had been working on this project before it was given to me so I was fortunate enough that she had gone through and identified many of the people and buildings that had been photographed, so all I had to do was shift the entire collection. When I started there were 21 cardboard bankers boxes of materials all weighing in at around 25+ pounds (I am guessing). This doesn’t sound too awful until you try to pull a box from the top of the shelf and it feels like it is going to crush you. So between my supervisor and myself we decided to go with a laminated 1/2 hollinger boxes. This was useful for several reasons.

  1.  This is one of the most utilized collections that we had, so there were lots of hands on the boxes. The lamination makes it easier to keep these boxes clean.
  2. It also made the boxes lighter so that it was easier to remove them from the top shelf.
  3. This also limited the number of items that were removed from the temperature controlled room and brought into the reading room.

Along with adding in photographs and switching up the boxes, I was given the task to sleeve all the photographs. The reason this was done was to keep each print from getting the dreaded fingerprint on them. Although the patrons are supposed to be using cotton gloves while handling the materials there is always the chance that someone will accidentally remove their glove and touch the image. (Fingerprints can be removed with PEC-12, but that stuff is so caustic that it should really only be used in emergencies.)

Finally, I was able to update the finding aid. I added new folders as well as combined or separated others (of course this was done only with the OK from my supervisor). I updated the finding aid using an existing XML template. I also created a new word document where I described the Box number, folder name, and image. In this document I started to write in descriptive metadata under the supervision of the department head.

Overall I learned a lot about how to process collections, describe them, and create descriptive metadata. And I must say I loved every minute of it! Here are some pictures of the completed project.

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