Friday, June 20, 2014


The University Libraries has a broad collection of items ranging from books, art books, scrapbooks, pamphlets, photographs, manuscripts and maps, all them in a variety of formats and accessible to the public. When they arrive at the Preservation Services for treatment, consideration is given to where it will be housed and who will be the final user. In some instances there is a need for unique and creative design, within a conservation mindset, in order to treat that object for our students and patrons use.

The Soil Survey and Maps of North Carolina Counties collection, with dates ranging from 1900’s to 1935’s, are individual pamphlet bindings with a map attached  with a hinge at the back. The pamphlet sizes are around 6 in. x 9 ¼ in., originally bound with metal staples, with the maps varying in size approximately 60 in. x 60 in.. They are all folded several times to fit into the back of the pamphlet. When they were originally processed by the library many years ago, they were assembled using commercial pamphlet binders with an interior cloth hinge impregnated with water activated animal glue.  

These large maps were difficult to open due to the manner in which they were attached to the pamphlet. Through the years and the usage in the library, some of these pamphlets and maps were badly damaged, showing several signs of paper stress, large tears, small losses and weakness on their folded areas, especially close to the gutter where they were attached.

As part of their restoration, heat set tissue was the medium used to consolidate the text folios and Japanese Paper Matsuo Kozo 16 g. was used on the covers. They were sewn together in a pamphlet style through a folded hinge using the same cloth that was used to cover the outer boards.

In order to make the maps more easily accessible by our students and patrons, they were separated from the back of the pamphlet, treated with heat set tissue and housed in a four flap enclosure, custom made for each one individually. We decided that this procedure would  better preserve the integrity of each map, allowing it to be opened, on a large surface, rather than keeping it in it’s original format, attached to the back of their original pamphlet.

Thinking beyond this point, and having in mind the final binding structure, we opt to have the four flap structure made to the same size of each pamphlet, as you can see below.

The final result is a solid case construction, in a book format, covered with conservation book cloth, with a laser printed paper protected with Klucel G, one on the spine and another one on the last fold of the four flap enclosure. Giving stability to their content as well as being preserved in a friendly user way for our patrons.

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