This is an archive of all of my original posts on the ConserveThis! Tumblr. ConserveThis! started out as a light-hearted (yet still educational!) blog about my experiences as a library conservator. It also turned out to be a successful outreach tool, as I received numerous questions about conservation – and how to become a conservator – from readers.
I’ve also added new posts here, which weren’t originally on the ConserveThis! Tumblr.
Removing Tape from a Ramage binding…
Got back on the bench for the first time in a long while. This tape residue on a beautiful handtooled binding just demanded to be picked at… On furt
Egyptian-themed publisher’s bindings by the Decorative Designers firm
During my hunt for more signed bindings in Fletcher Library, I came across these attractive publishers bindings. Both have a distinctive monogram on t
Three different aesthetic approaches in circulating conservation treatment..
Three different approaches to general collections conservation treatment (from L-R): Reusing the original boards and spine, with the spine and boards
A real find, hidden under an ugly binding…
It’s not everyday that I get a general collections book that’s older than the U.S.A. come across my desk. This one was in a tacky modern b
Is this a…?
I hope this makes some writers feel Very Seen
The red velvet vampyre
About a month ago my lab moved temporarily from one campus to another. During the move out we unearthed many forgotten supplies, including some pieces
When good negatives go bad…
Damaged nitrate negativeClose-up of a damaged nitrate negative We found this damaged negative while doing a final cleanup during the last part of our
Things they don’t tell you in book conservation grad school…
Things they don’t tell you in book conservation grad school: one day your job will be to make a housing for a large papier-mâché ch
Some scenes from the move of our archives and special collections…
Some scenes from the move of our archives and special collections: empty shelves contrasted with full book trays on their way to offsite storage. My l
Bystander: I think the letters you picked are too b- Bookbinder: ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Tape of low moral fiber
If you ever need some scotch tape or masking tape in my conservation lab, this is where you’ll find it. Double-sided tape (used for all s
Found in the archives and sealed with a kiss!
While making photocopies of some moldy archives material, my student worker noticed that someone (presumably the person whose papers these are) had us
If you love it, don’t laminate it!
Apparently our first university archivist/historian was a big fan of lamination. This just one of a couple hundred volumes containing some of our earl
My week summed up in one picture. Please don’t use gum as a bookmark. Be kind to your library books, and your library’s conservator.
Book Bindings on Jeopardy
While watching tonight’s episode of Jeopardy, I was super disappointed to discover that this category was really about book titles.
MRW I used some compressed air to dust underneath the book presses
MRW I used some compressed air to dust underneath the book presses, which apparently hadn’t been dusted in quite some time
We sure have a lot of tools!
This week in the conservation lab, we did a full inventory of all of our tools and equipment. We use a lot of different tools in the lab! At the front
It’s a fact.
Conservatives have alternative facts. Conservators have fungal facts.
I’ve been making some pint-sized models of various housing possibilities for our collections. This is one that is basically a book tray with a l
When in the stacks I must resist…
when in the stacksI must resistThe urge to makeA pefect fistAnd punch the booksAll in the spineTo shelve them straight-I’ll get a fine.
When in my lab I much insist…
when in my labI much insistour oldest pasteyou don’t ingestfor if you do yur act I see-I must reportto lab safety
Visionary mount of a parchment leaf using a…vision board?
Before unframing…A close up of how the leaf was attached at the corners to the vision boardThe mounting board usedParchment leaf and vision board, n
Ummm… …okay, that works I guess.
Library valentine about tape
conservethis: Roses are red, Violets are blue, If you put tape on your books, I’ll never EVER love you. Roses are red, Violets are blue,&nb
A clean sweep of a herbal
Cleaning in progress, with tools at the ready. Today I’m working on a treatment that is basically the rare book equivalent of cleaning under the
No love for sticky-notes
💔 💔 💔 💔 No love for whoever used these pink heart-shaped sticky notes in one of our library books. They are now firmly
Please don’t DIY when it comes to book repair!
And this is also why the staff at the library will often stress that patrons should not attempt their own repairs of library books. The “re
A productive week of bookbinding
The results of a very productive three day bookbinding workshop, making board attachment models with the amazing Karen Hanmer. For more information on
Never back a book when you’re upset…
Wow, whoever originally backed this 19th century publisher’s binding should’ve really taken a moment to calm down and take a deep breath f
A *really* big box…
So I made a really big box, and I had to stand it on end when gluing the walls together. And while that was happening I started smashing some of my bo
The sound of Schmedt
Do you hate leather paring as much as I do? Then you’ll love the Scharffix. Also, this video really should be subtitled: “Schme
I’ve been working on condition reports all week, and this certain song is stuck in my head…because condition rhymes with tradition.
GoPro in the Conservation Lab
Let’s just say I have a GoPro I can strap to my head. What bookbinding or conservator stuff, or conservation treatment techniques do you wa
Pretending to be an objects conservator…
Yesterday, I got to pretend to be an objects conservator, while repairing our beloved plastic Japanese squid clock with conservation adhesive called B
A library is to know
This from a great little book called “A Library is to Know”, which is a parody of Maurice Sendak’s “A Hole is to Dig
So, our old HEPA filter vacuum broke yesterday, right in the middle of a mold-remediation project I was working on! BUT! I just found out today that t
I really like this breakdown of the cost for rebinding a book (and more than once, at that!) circa 1906. It’s a lot more expensive now! From thi
Archival National Geographic
Archival National Geographic
Shannon Zachary, Super Conservator!
Shannon Zachary, Super Conservator!:)I get asked if I’m an archivist about 2x a year, on average.
Pop-up book vampire dentistry
Sometimes being a book conservator means you have to do a little dental work on Dracula’s fangs. This is a pop-up book that’s going
Library Book + Dog + Tape = Bad Idea
This was a book that was damaged by a dog, and “fixed” with packing tape by a patron. And this is also why the staff at the library will o
Hi! I’m gathering information on conservation as a potential career, and I wondered if you could give me an idea of the sort of salaries conservators usually expect? (I’m not looking to get rich; if I were, I’d have gone into something boring)
Sure! The most recent compensation survey that the American Institute for Conservation has is from 2014. You can access the PDF here. It’s poste