Jim WIlcox


One of the items that was used for the current Special Collections and University Archives ISU Pammel Court exhibit (designed by the History 481x class) is this little book. For the exhibit they wanted to show both the cover and one of the interior pages displayed as one piece.

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With a quick sketch I came up with this:

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I then had to think about how to hold the book up so it didn’t slide off the display wedge.

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And then I had to figure out the dimensions….hmmmm…..

I drew out the 45 degree template and put the spine of the book along the diagonal. I went up about ¾ of the way and dropped a line down to the base. That gave me the measurements for the angled front piece, the back and the base.

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I extended the base measurement out to make the lip that holds the book.

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Then transferred all those measurements to a scrap piece of scrap board. Base, front, back, base with extension, face for book stop wedge, the piece the book will rest against, and the inner base to tape down.

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I took those measurements and laid them out on the mat board and scored the lines about ¾ of the way through on what will be the bottom side of the base and added a piece of double stick tape to hold the book stop and inner base to the larger base.

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And removed the little bit that wasn’t needed.

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Double stick tape was used to hold the lip and the bottom pieces of the book support together after the book stop had already been folded and taped down.

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This is what the final piece looked like from the side…

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and from the front with a copy of the selected page.

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This past week a new exhibit opened in Parks Library’s Special Collections and University Archives reading room. It is called “For Married Students”: Building a Community in Pammel Court, 1946-1978. The exhibit tells the story of a housing development that was built on Iowa State University grounds to accommodate  student veterans of WWII  and their young families, as part of the GI bill.

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The Preservation Department staff worked hard to fabricate mat board exhibit mounts for the items to be displayed. Jim Wilcox and I set out to make a simple slanted mat board book cradle. We were attracted to using mat board because it is easy to manipulate and recycle afterward.  It turned out the task was not actually that simple! The slanted cradle needed to be quite strong to withstand the weight of the heavy book.

We looked at an article that provided details for construction of a cloth covered slanted cradle. (Andersen, Jennifer, Cloth Covered Book Cradles, Abbey Newsletter, Volume 17, Number 7, December 1993, http://cool.conservation-us.org/byorg/abbey/an/an17/an17-7/an17-715.html).

This is an excellent design, which has been used by many institutions for years,  but we still hoped to find a solution that was a little less labor-intensive.

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We started with the tried and true model of two wedges on a base, using museum-grade mat board and double-sided 3M 415 tape. Then Jim added another wedge to the bottom of the base to slant the cradle forward.

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A small triangular ledge is built into the base, it keeps the book from sliding  off the cradle. The tricky part was to keep this ledge securely attached to the rest of the cradle. The answer was…..drum roll….wait for it –  yes, book cloth! Not so revolutionary after all, I know!

But in this version, the book cloth is almost entirely concealed in between the various parts of the cradle. Pale tan Cotlin book cloth was attached to the cradle itself and to the wedge base that elevates the cradle, then wrapped around the ledge. Cloth is only exposed on that narrow triangular support ledge on the front of the cradle.

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I used PVA to adhere the book cloth to the mat board and let the cradle off-gas for 2 weeks prior to installing it into the exhibit case.

Aside from the fun and excitement with the cradle, I became acquainted with a wonderful piece of equipment – the rotary cutter. We had lots of exhibit labels to cut out and the rotary cutter was excellent for making 90 degree cuts without the combined effort of lining up the paper, holding down the ruler and minding the scalpel. A plastic bar holds down your paper and a sharp blade makes the perfectly straight cut for you. It’s like a mat cutter for paper! The roatry cutter comes in a large size too, so for lightweight materials it can be a good alternative to a board shear.

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Learn more about our new exhibit by checking out the links below.

Publicity article:

http://www.inside.iastate.edu/article/2017/01/19/pammel

Article about curating the exhibit:

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/ames247/article_e6b0e76c-bc29-11e6-83b2-c72d80011232.html

Photos from the exhibit reception:

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/ames247/collection_884277bc-ddfe-11e6-9272-6f8ae44f9de6.html#1

Preservation’s own, Jim Wilcox, reports on his biking adventure:

During RAGBRAI XLIV 2016 ((Des Moines) Registers Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa 44 ) July 24-30 I stopped into some of the small town public libraries in the pass through towns. Now I haven’t been to all the small town libraries yet having only done the ride 34 times so far but here are a few from this year.

Early in the week was a stop at the Villisca Public Library, population 1252 according to the 2010 Census. A building built in 1908 with only updates to mechanical systems and the addition of an elevator. A Carnegie Library that cost $10,000 to build and furnish (books not included).

You may have heard of Villisca for another reason, the still unsolved ax murder of 8 people while they slept on the night of June 10, 1912. http://www.villiscaiowa.com/index.php

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Villisca Library, 1908

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Villisca Library Basement

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Villisca basement, and next to it the main floor collection and Mr. Carnegie

Another stop during the week was at the Humeston Library, population 494 from the 2010 Census. A town founded in 1872 it is within ¼ of a mile halfway between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.

“With the increasing demand for technology and neutral gathering space for the community, the space became too small to hold a thriving and growing library.  In August of 2003 the Library Board of Trustees began a building fund in anticipation of someday building a new building to house the library.  With tremendous community support of that vision, the library opened in its new spacious location on April 26, 2008”

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Humeston Library, 2008

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Humeston collection

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More of the Humeston collection

On to Moravia, population 665 from the 2010 Census.  ” Moravia is named for the religious faith. Moravian families left Salem, North Carolina in 1849 to start a colony in the west. Money was sent to purchase forty acres of land for a town site by several benevolent Moravian sisters. It was their wish that town lots be sold and the money be used to build a Moravian Church. The families made the long journey to Iowa and acquired many acres of land. “

“The Moravia Public Library was established in 1941.   It is situated in the center of the Moravia City Park and serves as a hub in the community.  In 1980 there was an addition built on the south side of the building.  This addition serves as a meeting place for several civic organizations, reunions, receptions and houses displays of crafts and foods during the annual Moravia Fall Festival.  In 1984 the Library was enlarged and renovated by volunteer labor, then again in 2001 the Library was increased in size by approximately half the original size.  It’s now 2,200 square feet.”
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Moravia Library, the front porch was being used as a stage, something that has been done there for a long time. The building was moved to its current location by horse power and steam tractors when the school was built

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Inside the Moravia Library

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Nice mural in the Moravia Library

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Books signed by hometown womens basketball star Molly Bolin and a Moravian Star.

The Moravian star originated in Saxony, Germany, in the two towns of Niesky and Kleinwalka in the 1830s. The stars were used as craft projects to help demonstrate geometry lessons to young boys attending Moravian school. The stars were quickly adopted by the Moravian Church as a symbol of the birth of Jesus and represented the star of Bethlehem. Traditionally, the star is hung the first Sunday of Advent and remains up until Epiphany, January 6, or the time of the coming of the Magi.”

http://www.villisca.swilsa.lib.ia.us/

http://www.humeston.lib.ia.us/

http://www.moravia.lib.ia.us/

 

Written by Jim Wilcox, Preservation Services Unit.

These are some things I probably should have taken care of 25 years ago, when that water line froze, and then leaked once it thawed out.  This is artwork I did 30 or so years ago (1980-1983), when I was working for Collegiate Pacific in Ames.  Collegiate started out in Ames and made the first Cy mascot costume, as well as stuffed animals for many different colleges, imprinted shirts, pennants, blankets, and banners.  They had done some work for the military during World War II, and later added plants in Roanoke, Virginia, and California.  The Ames Historical Society is currently working on a video history of the company.

I thought the stuff was dry when I put it in the portfolio and boxed it up, but I guess it wasn’t dry enough, as the photos show.  Fortunately, it wasn’t that much of the original artwork and proofs that ended up like this.

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This pellon sample (above) was run to make sure the three screenprinting screens in this case all lined up before running the order of shirts.  The few spots of mold along the bottom border could probably best be treated with just a little bit of trimming.

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This photocopy of artwork is something we sometimes did in the art department to check things and to help when cutting the rubylithe for the color separations.  This one has a few spots of dark mold and some bleeding ink.

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This one is Garfield, on a paper proof like the one sent to the salesman to shop around.  You can see some spots of mold and a nice tideline along the right edge.

With the rain pouring steadily for the past few days, and flood waters rising in Iowa, these old souvenirs of long-ago water damage are a good reminder to get prepared and react quickly.

Written by Jim Wilcox.

The September 27th  monograph  side of the bindery shipment.

The monographs are ready to go down to the loading dock to be packed, along with one Marking truck that stays in-house.  It’s a bit of a smaller shipment than normal, with only 354 monographs going out in this one.  They are all sorted according to binding type:

  • M1, adhesive-bound  to receive Grade F Buckram covers
  • M2, sewn bindings
  • M3, Digicovers (the biggest part of the shipment, taking 2 trucks)
  • M3b, Digicovers with special instructions (mostly “Case Flush Bottom”  but  some “Bind in Loose Page”)
  • MR, items to be recased (which have been sent to Preservation from the Circulation desk)

All of the Digicovers have had the call number labels applied to the spine before going off to the bindery, along with the barcodes moved to the outside cover near the lower right. The reason for moving the barcode to the outside is that the catalogers place a piggyback barcode in the upper right corner on the inside of the back cover.

The September 6th shipment that came back from the bindery on the 27th.

The items are all unpacked from the shipping bins and sorted according to type.  They’re now waiting to be checked in to make sure everything came back and is bound correctly.  Also, location streamers and and giftplates need to be reunited with the books before going down to Circulation. Once checked in, the items will be stamped with the ISU stamps and the barcodes will be moved to the inside of the back covers, except for the Digicovers, which will need to have a duplicate barcode made to go on the inside since the original is now a permanent part of the cover.

Meanwhile, items on the Marking trucks are waiting to have the spine labels applied, the head edge stamped with “Iowa State University Library,” the inside the front cover stamped with a different ISU stamp, and the tattle tape inserted into the spine.  On the shelves behind the marking trucks, books that came too late to be included in the September 27th shipment have been sorted and are awaiting processing for the October 18th shipment.