There are many people working at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh who go unseen. We are the ones behind Staff Only doors, the ones who process and repair books and so much more. Here in the Conservation, Preservation and Access Department (CP&A) we are trying to share more of what we do with the general public. We are a small staff working primarily with the Library’s older and more fragile collection.
Not every item that passes through our doors are in poor condition. Sometimes all they need is a suitable enclosure. One such item, donated to the Pennsylvania Department, is Frick Park’s Enduring Legacy: A Treasury by Design. The booklet itself, produced by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in 2013, is still in good shape, but because of the accompanying letter it demanded a little more thought before being sent out to be cataloged for your reading pleasure.
Preserving information while doing as little damage possible is our mission, and so finding an appropriate solution to this unique problem took some working out. After consulting fellow co-worker and conservator Amy W., we agreed a hard folder with pocket would best suit this booklet. The pocket would allow room for both book and letter to be taken out for easy access to the information. I set to work, measuring the boards and appropriate width for spine and made one of our standard case wrappers.
With most case wrappers, we add a wrapper to hold the item in. Instead, I constructed a pocket out of mylar and attached that in its place. The pocket will make it easier to slide the letter and booklet in and out while keeping them safe and together.
As you can see, the booklet is happy, safe, and secure in its new home, which makes for a happy Conservation Technician.
Thanks for looking, and stay tuned to Eleventh Stack for more peeks behind the curtain at the Preservation Department!
Emma is a Conservation Assistant in the Conservation, Preservation and Access Department at CLP – Main. She earned a BFA in Book Arts in 2006 and has been taking books apart and putting them back together ever since.