February 20, 2009

Conserving the Chew Papers: Enclosures

This is the first in a series of blog posts devoted to the conservation being performed on the documents, books and manuscript materials in the Chew Family Papers Collection.

Creating custom enclosures for books and papers is necessary from a conservation and preservation standpoint. Enclosures are made in a variety of ways, specific to the needs of the collection material using chemically stable materials. Housing collection materials in a box or wrapper helps to provide protection from the threat of any environemental issues (such as dust, light, or moisture) and eases stress on a book as it is moved on and off a shelf.

Multi-Use Boxes are constructed of corrugated acid-free blue board to the specific measurements of the material. The box opens like a clamshell and is made to be able to sit upright on a shelf like a book.

Compartments can be created for odd-sized objects or multiple items.

For special items, a cloth-covered Clamshell Box is constructed. Clam-shell boxes provide the same protection as a multi-use box, but allow for a much nicer presentation. Intern Ansley Joe created this clamshell box for a leather journal/case belonging to Elizabeth B. Chew.

Inset Boxes are created for items that need to be housed together or for smaller books. The boxes are constructed of a heavy-weight (20-pt. thickness) acid-free library board, with flaps to close over the inset portion. The box is then inserted into a custom-made slipcase.

The book is easily lifted out of its compartment by a piece of cotton tape attached to a flap of 20-pt.

Other enclosures performed on materials in the Chew Papers Collection are Wrappers. This approach is best for books or pamphlets that are too thin to create a multi-use box for, but require protective housing.

1 comment:

Allen said...

Nice idea!!
economical and quirky too.
I will definitely try:)