Summer in Special Collections

With no windows to the outside world and a thermostat that always reads a brisk 66°F, it feels as though summer never comes in Special Collections. However, these measures are taken to protect the many rare and delicate items housed behind the doors of the Special Collections and College Archives Department in Musselman Library’s third floor.
Working closely with Avery, a fellow intern, the past few weeks have provided a diverse speckling of learning new skills, all primarily revolving around conservation. Such activities have included encapsulating Chinese posters from the 1950’s and 60’s, paper repair, and most notably rare book repairs. For the latter task I was given a copy of History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 that had detached covers, pieces of spine missing, and a few loose pages. Though it appeared as though my book would come apart easily in order to replace the spine, the cloth it was bound in turned out to be incredibly fragile, supported only by the deteriorating boards I was working to remove or repair. I can’t deny that there were moments when I truly questioned whether this book would’ve been better off with detached covers, but my doubts were proven wrong as my book slowly came back together!
Paper repair 
Removing the spine of my book
Toning my new spine to match the old

Inside cover- BEFORE repair
Inside cover- AFTER repair
Book spine and label- BEFORE repair
Book spine and label- AFTER repair
Most recently, we’ve just completed making book boxes to house our repaired books in, since we took the time to repair them, we surely want to make sure they’re now protected! But unfortunately, with the completion of this project, our time working with book conservation has come to an end and Avery and I will be moving into the realm of cataloging in Special Collections. Somehow it’s already July and a whole month has already passed in the Library, yet I’m more than eager to see what the next month and beyond has in store!

Until next time- 

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