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Learning to Preserve Valuable Collections Using Basic Enclosures

Properly constructed, the most basic enclosures can provide multifaceted protection from many of the threats to your collections. Enclosures provide protection against a fluctuating environment and the damaging effects of UV light; they create protective support during storage and transportation; with good design enclosures can encourage safe handling of fragile collections. Participants in this introductory level workshop will learn to construct 3 types of custom enclosures all of which can be reproduced with minimal equipment, tools and space. We will also discuss the preservation principles that will allow you to select material in the context of your institution. No previous experience necessary.

Constructing Custom Corrugated Clamshells

Learn how to make a custom cardboard clamshell box using acid-free archival corrugated board, safe for archival storage.  This workshop will teach a method of making a corrugated clamshell box with the aid of an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the measurements of the box.  Corrugated clamshell boxes are elegant, lightweight, and a durable solution for storing special collection books or brittle bindings.  This type of enclosure can be produced relatively fast and economically after a short training period.

Evaluations and Considerations for Housing

Overwhelmed by the various types of enclosures available for preservation storage?  Curious about the difference between buffered or unbuffered boards?  Is a custom enclosure or pre-fab box the right fit for you?  What about cost considerations?  In this class, an introduction to preservation enclosures offers insight on a range of storage solutions for varying materials and breaks down how to select the right “box” for different materials.

Care and Handling during Digitization

Presented from a preventative conservation perspective, this workshop will provide guidelines and tips to protect special collections during the digitization capture process. Preservation topics will include transportation, environment and workflow considerations for rare materials. A brief overview on identifying book parts and common condition issues will be followed by a discussion on handling and supporting fragile materials.  Tricks to safely remove damaging fasteners will also be demonstrated.

When Disaster Strikes, Be Prepared!

You never know when disaster will strike.  It is important to be prepared and to plan for the unforeseen.  During this emergency preparedness workshop, we’ll explore various aspects of disaster planning to help you find a place to start: Learn from colleagues in Ohio as we share stories of lessons learned, familiarize yourself with different types of disaster planning resources, and identify key aspects of disaster planning development that you can implement today.

Disaster Kit Orientation

This session will discuss how disaster kits can be of use once an area is safe to enter. Most importantly, this session orients participants to the contents of a disaster kit.  Preventive actions such as creating a pocket response plan with a list of emergency phone numbers as well as disaster priorities for salvage will also be discussed.

Matting for Long-term storage

This workshop will focus on utilizing mat board options for long-term storage while keeping in mind considerations for display.  Participants will create three sample matting systems to mount materials with varying long-term storage needs, using non-adhesive mounting techniques.  Depending on schedule availability, an introduction to mounting with hinges and wheat starch paste may also be provided.

Introduction to Cradling

Learn how using book cradles in reading rooms, exhibits, and as supports during digitization projects can extend the life of your materials.   Explore the types of cradles available and which are best for particular books structures.  For full day workshops we’ll construct two simple DIY cradles from mat board.  Instructor(s) will bring samples of the cradles used at their institutions and we encourage workshop attendees to bring examples to show as well.  No previous experience necessary.   

Simple Supports for Dynamic Exhibits

Attendees will learn how preventative preservation can enhance the aesthetics of exhibiting flat archival material and ways to create safe and inexpensive mounts and supports that create multiple viewing angles to accommodate a variety of cases.

Introduction to Special Collections

This is an annual workshop provided each June as part of the LSTA Conservation Grant.  Attendees will leave with an understanding of the criteria for selecting materials for conservation/preservation, basic evaluation considerations, how to find and work with a conservator, contracts and insurance and treatment documentation.  In some circumstances, participants are encouraged to bring actual materials they are considering having conserved for an informal discussion about the range of treatment possibilities they might encounter.


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Kristen Muenz

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This project was supported in whole or in part by federal Institute of Museum and Library Services funds, granted through the State Library of Ohio.  The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of IMLS or the State Library of Ohio, and no official endorsement by either agency should be inferred.

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