Michigan State University

Conservation and Preservation Exhibits

The library hosts many exhibits throughout the year. The Conservation Lab assists with many of these by preparing materials for exhibition. These activities include:

  • Cleaning covers and pages for display
  • Mending torn pages or repairing the binding
  • Strapping down the book to allow pages to be displayed without harming the binding
  • Making custom-fitted mounts out of Vivak (clear plastic) and other materials
  • Installing the exhibit

The Preservation Office also has environmental data loggers to monitor the temperature and humidity and takes readings of the light levels to make sure library materials are not being harmed while on display.  We have the dual function of wanting our library materials, including rare and valuable books, to be on display for the public to see while also making sure they are in the best conditions so they will last for future generations.

Besides helping to prepare materials for the Sawyer-Koch exhibit cases and the Edwards Special Collections Exhibition Gallery (as well as in cases throughout the library), conservation personnel have curated there own exhibits focused on conservation, preservation and bookbinding.  Here are some examples:

There are many more online exhibits at MSU Libraries on a wide variety of topics. Find more on at Special Collections Online Exhibitions and MSUL Online Exhibits and Collections.