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Today I’m working on a treatment that is basically the rare book equivalent of cleaning under the couch cushions. This 2-volume herbal was used by a previous owner as a plant press, and many leaves, flowers and other assorted plant parts were discovered in-between its pages by our special collections librarian.  The plants had already […]

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How not to fix a book, example #47.

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“Please fix this bad fix” is a surprisingly large percentage of my job. This book was sent to me because someone had replaced one of the pages with a photocopy (actually TWO photocopies glued together to make a two-sided copy) by taping it to the adjacent original pages in the book. Sigh.

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Sometimes my job as a conservator involves encapsulating the flowers that were sent in a 19th century envelope addressed to the 19th century novelist and poet George Meredith. Polyester encapsulation is not the same as lamination; the inert polyester plastic is never directly adhered to any of the items within, only the edges are sealed […]

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Library propaganda! by Suzy Via Flickr: TGIF!  Also, for those curious: the original poster was created by Albert Dorne in 1942 for the US Government Printing Office (which therefore makes it public domain). You can find more great WW2 propaganda posters on Northwestern University’s repository. [The above image is from the Northwestern University repository database of […]

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Library valentine about tape

sonofahurricane: npr: conservethis: Roses are red, Violets are blue, If you put tape on your books, I’ll never EVER love you. As a book-lover I support this valentine. -Mabinty can someone explain to me why we hate tape on books? Like book tape (when my mom could spare it) has saved a couple of my […]

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Currently on my bench is this book about a 1875 voyage to the Arctic. This particular passage reminded me of when I lived in Chicago, and simultaneously made me glad I now live in a MUCH warmer place! Also I absolutely love how the title looks like it has little icicles dripping down from the […]

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Yes, that’s a banana. That was used as a bookmark, in one of our non-circulating books. And then left for our staff to find over the weekend. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE??!!?!?! I hope it goes without saying, that if you’re reading my Tumblr, you know better than to leave banana peels in books. 

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So I just found out that Intelligentsia Coffee sells a DECAF ONLY “Librarian’s Blend”.   Do they even KNOW any librarians?? Because libraries run on caffeine!  I mean they wouldn’t dare make a decaf-only blend called “Doctor’s Blend” or “Lawyer’s Blend”. 

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This book’s call number label has peeled away, but also took some of the spine’s decoration with it, leaving an interesting pattern on the underside of the label.