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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Smithsonian Libraries Preservation Week TweetUp

It's an SI Libraries Tweetup!

Do you like old books, even ones with crumbling bindings and damaged paper? Do you want to learn some tips for basic book repair? Have you ever wondered how libraries prepare for dealing with disasters that put their collections at risk? And (most important!) do you like to tweet? If you're an active Twitter user in the DC area who follows @SILibraries, and if you'd like to explore behind the scenes at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries' Book Conservation Lab, you might be in luck. The Smithsonian Libraries is holding a TweetUp for Preservation Week on Thursday, April 26, 2012 from 12:30-3:00 p.m. at its Book Conservation Lab in Landover, Maryland. Ten lucky applicants will be selected to participate. The deadline to register for the TweetUp is April 6, 2012, and details are available on the Smithsonian Libraries website.

However, even if you are not part of the group selected for the TweetUp, you can still learn about the basics of book preservation from these resources on the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services website. You can also follow the TweetUp discussion on Twitter on April 26th using the hashtags #SILTweetUp and #Preswk.

L'Assiette au Beurre, v. 7, before treatment
And if you'd like to know more about how libraries, museums, and other cultural organizations prepare for emergencies and respond to disasters, look for information about May Day 2012, sponsored by Heritage Preservation: The National Institute for Conservation.

Plate from Exposition universelle de 1889, being treated with paper washing
Various Smithsonian units will be highlighting issues on preservation and disaster preparedness in the months of April and May. You can also ask questions about collections care any time on the Smithsonian Insitution Archives website.

Shown above:

Detail, Blue Jay, plate 15, from Mark Catesby, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands,  published in London between 1731 and 1743 (call number fQH41.C35 v. 1 SCNHRB Cullman Library)

Volume 7 of the French magazine, L'Assiette au Beurre, published between 1901 and 1912, which recently received preservation treatment in the Smithsonian Libraries' Book Conservation Lab. This copy is from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Library (call number fAP103.A848 v. 7 CHMRB Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Library)

 Plate from Frantz Jourdain's Exposition universelle de 1889 (Paris: Librarie centrale des beaux-arts ; New York : J.W. Bouton, [1892]), undergoing paper washing treatment (call number fNA7105 .J68 1892 CHMRB Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Library)

--Diane Shaw, Special Collections Cataloger, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

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