Mindy tests out the ProScope 200x Hand-held Microscope on “Cy” (ISU’s mascot).

ISU Library Preservation is now the proud new owner of a Bodelin ProScope 200x hand-held microscope.  We were first introduced to this bad boy when Gawain Weaver brought one to facilitate the Care and Identification of Photographs workshop he taught at ISU in May, 2010.  The portable scope plugs into our laptop’s USB port, allowing us to view the magnified image on the screen, take still shots, record video, or even shoot time-lapse photography.  Since there isn’t a single photograph conservator in the state of Iowa, we felt this would be an important tool to help us when working with Special Collections to identify and care for ISU’s extensive collection of photographs.

Of course, there’s no reason we can’t have a little fun with our new toy, too, so we invite you to take an ID quiz we’ve put together: match the material listed on the right with the corresponding magnified image.  I’ll post the answers in the Comments section.  Good luck!

1. Buckram bookcloth

2. Paper-backed rayon bookcloth

3. Plastic shoulder strap from laptop case

4. Dense carrying-case foam

5. Styrofoam peanut

6. 20 pt. Bristol board

7. Blotter

8. Wove printer paper

9. Marbled paper

10. Printed origami paper

11. Cave paper

12. Silver stamping on paper

13. Stainless steel nut

14. Bamboo pencil holder

15. Goatskin leather

16. Goatskin vellum

17. Albumen print

18. Collodion print

19. Vinyl 3-ring binder

20. Printed instructions for ProScope