Recently we received a Special Collections brown leather book titled Familiar Lectures on Botany, Practical, Elementary, and Physiological by Mrs. Almira H. Lincoln (1842). As I was adding this book to our departmental inventory, I noticed a couple of areas with “leafy” items pressed in between some pages. So, after discussing treatment with our conservator, Melissa Tedone, we agreed that I should note the page numbers where the ephemera was located and encapsulate each item with the Minter welder.
Well a “couple of pieces of ephemera later” ended up being 38 items with a lot more documentation and encapsulating on my part. And if you haven’t worked with dried plant material between two pieces of Mylar and static electricity, you will find it a real challenge. It’s very hard to control the leaves, flowers, and seeds, as they go where they want. Careful handling on my part with tweezers and a microspatula got them where I wanted them on a backing of University Products Permalife text weight 70# paper, and enclosed between Mylar and welded together.
I was very pleased with the finished project and it will be much easier for future visitors to handle and look at the ephemera. However, I will never say just “a couple” again when referring to ephemera!