A Lesson in Conservation

I am always looking to further my education and strengthen any conservation skills that I have. Understanding that there is a lot that I do not know I keep looking for resources that will help with one or another problem. I was familiar with the publication Preservation and conservation for libraries and archives by Nelly Balloffet, Jenny Hille, and Judith A Reed. Having seen a snippet of this work on google it looked like there was a procedure that I could use in conserving several old prints that are in our Manuscripts and Archives. Knowing that this a somewhat rare and expensive volume I ordered it from the Washington State University, Pullman campus, ILL.

Several weeks passed and I received the message that the book was now available at the circulation desk and to come and pick it up. Presenting my card there was a short wait until the staff member returned with the book. Unlike other times he hesitated and held the book back for a minute.

Paraphrasing our conservation, here is what transpired:

I want you to know that there is something wrong with this book. It has some sort of water damage. None of the other books in the bag were wet so it came from the lending library this way. We have noted this damage on the slip so that you will not be charged for it and we have extended the checkout for another two weeks.

Indeed the book was damaged! Just then one of my colleagues came up behind me. Thinking of the situation I held out the book, had him read the title, and asked him “What is wrong with this picture?”

I had more fun the rest of the day showing the book other other colleagues and noting the irony of the situation. The pictures below speak for themselves and I have edited them to protect the guilty.

DLWA Call Number: Z701 .B234 2005
Worldcat: Link

  • Title: Preservation and conservation for libraries and archives
  • Author: Nelly Balloffet; Jenny Hille; Judith A Reed
  • Language: English
  • Setting: conservation