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:
Save America's Treasures- Teaching Young Americans: The Early American Schoolbook Collection curated by Linda Barone and Eric Alstrom, 2007
- This exhibit was part of the SAT grant the library received in 2006 and focuses on the conservation treatments of over 1,500 books
How to Judge a Book by It's Cover: The History of Binding in the MSU Special Collections Library curated by Eric Alstrom, 2009
- A survey of books from Special Collections highlighting how binding techniques and styles changed from the 15th century to the present
Preservation Week 2015 curated by Bexx Caswell-Olson and Ryan Edge
- In 2015, the exhibit featured a wide variety of types of preservation and conservation activities for both print and media collections.
Library Preservation: Then & Now curated by Eric Alstrom and Nora Sleasman
- For Preservation Week 2018, the focus was on how technology has changed preservation over the years.