Conservation


Anyone that know me knows how I love rice krispie treats and many years ago I made a batch and ate them all in one day. The next day my mouth was so sore from the abrasive nature of the rice krispies but I just couldn’t help myself. You only do that once. So recently I had a project to work on that was tempting as it still smelled good after 16 years from when first made. It was the World’s Largest Cereal Treat, Rice Krispies Treat confirmed by the Guinness World Records on Friday, April 20, 2001 during Veishea, a campus wide celebration.

Kellogg’s Rice Krispies were developed in 1927. What is really interesting is that the rice krispie treat was invented by an Iowa State University alumna, a 1928 graduate of College of Home Economics Mildred Day along with co-worker Malitta Jensen while working at Kellogg’s and used the marshmallow treat as a fundraiser for the Camp Fire Girls shortly after its invention in the 1930s. The “marshmallow squares” were revealed to the public market in the 1940s with its recipe published on a cereal boxes in 1941.Image result for mildred day rice krispies treats Mildred Day

Image result for mildred day rice krispies treats

Image result for mildred day rice krispies treats

Image result for mildred day rice krispies treats

Iowa State University was able to smash the current record holder of a 2,260 pound treat set in October 1997 at Michigan State University. After many batches of treats were made they ended up with a 2,480 pound treat from 818 pounds of Rice Krisipies, 1,466 pounds of marshmallows, and 217 pounds of butter. Image result for mildred day rice krispies treats

After the treat was made it was weighed in at the Physical Plant with cameras marking the progress all along the event. Following the Veishea Parade, the treat was sold on central campus with proceeds given to the Youth & Shelter Services in Ames.

So there’s the history on the Rice Krisipie Treats now back to the one sitting on my desk. I needed to have it go through our freezer process to eliminate any “bug or mold” potential, then I encapsulated it, carved out a bed in Ethaform then lined the bottom with Volara, and added a sewing cloth tape tab to lift it out of the box. This way it is much easier and safer to handle and protected from the elements of storage.

And if you don’t have the time or patience to make the crispy treats you can purchase them premade on your grocery store shelves.  I enjoy them from the Parks Library’s Bookends Café as they are a regular treat made through ISU Dining.

Image result for 40 Bars Rice Krispies TreatsImage result for Kellogg's Rice Crispy Treats

And for those who can’t get enough of the flavor of marshmallows and Rice Krispies.Rice Krispies Treats Flavored Lip Balm

So there you have probably more information than you ever imagined about the famous Guinness World’s Record holding Iowa State University’s 2001 Rice Krispie Treat and Mildred Day, ISU alumna and inventor.  This item can be viewed at the Parks Library in the Special Collections and University Archives Department.  Now I’m hungry for one!

 

 

A few weeks ago I co-taught a workshop at MAC, Midwest Archives Conference in Omaha, NE. I worked together with two lovely colleagues from the University of Kansas – Conservator of Special Collections Angela Andres and Assistant Conservator Roberta Woodrick.

The workshop was called Exhibit Support Basics: Solutions for Small Institutions and Small Budgets. Our group of 9 participants included librarians, archivists and one registrar. They came from institutions ranging from the Midwest Archaeological Center in Lincoln, Nebraska to Minnesota State University Library.

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During the workshop we presented demos of 2 variations on an exhibit support for a flat item and one model of a book cradle. Both were made from mat board. The participants fearlessly forged on, showing confidence with blades and rulers. All of them said that they had never used bone folders and scalpels before! Several of the ladies remarked on how good it felt to work with their hands and how satisfying it was to be able to complete a finite project.

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Participants hard at work on their book cradles

Here are some anonymous comments from our students, as reported in the online workshop evaluation survey:

“Presenters were great. They spoke about realistic solutions to challenges. The hands on component was very valuable.”

“I could see this being a whole-day workshop, covering even more exhibit support ideas.”

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Examples of completed work

Angela wrote about this very same workshop on the KU blog

 

 

Next week here at the ISU Library we will be celebrating Preservation Week! It’s a wonderful time that we can devote to reaching out to the community and educating them on what we (and they) can do to preserve our personal and shared collections.

This year we will be hosting another Preservation Clinic: Ask the Experts that is open to the public. We invite those that are local to bring in a family heirloom or collectable and we will provide you with information on how you can properly care for and handle your item. We will be joined by some guest experts from the State Historical Society of Iowa as well as the Textiles & Clothing Museum. We will also have a representative from Digital Initiatives available to discuss our digital collections and the new Bomb transcription project that you may remember from our previous post.

If you are in central Iowa next week we invite you to come and join us and if you aren’t local I encourage you to check out the Preservation Week website for a lot of quality information on protecting our treasures!

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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Recently I was given four pictures that were copies of original paintings that needed to be housed in custom built portfolios.  We have a wide variety of sizes of portfolios but none that would fit.  I don’t mind making custom portfolios as they are fairly quick to construct and look professionally made.

But this wasn’t the first time I had seen the portrait of Petrina Jackson, Head of the Special Collections and University Archives here at Iowa State University.  Last August while I was at the Iowa State Fair Petrina and Eric Schares, Science & Technology Librarian, had their portraits painted on site by artist Rose Frantzen of Maquoketa at the university’s state fair exhibit booth in the Varied Industries Building while people strolled by.  The completed paintings themselves become a part of the university’s booth exhibit.  I had stopped by the day Petrina was having her painting made and chatted with her for a moment while Rose painted away and does a nice job of capturing the individuals on canvas.  So five months later I see the completed painting.

And it’s a perfect custom fit!

Those of you of a certain age might remember in your early years at school the long metal tube with the large roll down map that hung on the wall of your classroom.  

Recently the Stanford’s large school series Map of India 1914 by James L. Barton came into my hands to construct an enclosure for safekeeping.  This map arrived in the Preservation Department as a folded 10” x 9” piece from a 62” x 54” map and with careful conservation efforts by our conservator, Sophia (Sonya) Barron, the map is now viewable again.  It was next handed off to me to construct a box.

The challenge in making this box was its size and I wanted a lightweight product.  I used the corrugated blue board for its length and light weight, Ethafoam for cradles that were easy to carve with a knife to the size I needed, Velcro straps to hold the box together, and Velcro coins to hold the end caps on.  I am pleased with the end product.  Stay tuned as there will be more on the Map of India in a future post from Sonya and her conservation treatment.

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

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