Conservation Treatments

These are some examples of treatments that have been performed in the conservation lab.

The Brut Chronicle


Catalog record: Codex MS 003183
Digitized version

The Brut Chronicle prior to conservation treatment.

The earliest prose chronicle in English, this copy starts with the legendary hero Brutus' conquest of Albion and continues, with the second continuation, to 1419 and Henry V's siege of Rouen.

This item was acquired in 2006 bound in a tacketed binding structure with weak and fragile sewing. Through discussions with the curator of Special Collections it was decided to disbind, clean, perform minor repairs, and resew the volume.

The Brut Chronicle, disbound, undergoing cleaning and minor repairs.

It was also decided that the volume should be digitized while disbound to minimize potential damage during the digitization process. Preservation services staff completed the digitization, and the digitized version is now available for scholars across the world to view online.

The Brut Chronicle resewn on vegetable-tanned leather tapes.

A new case is being created for the volume, similar in style to the case it was bound in when the library received it. The textblock will be tacketed into the new case to retain the original binding structure.



Photographs from the Dartmouth College Archives

Photographs from the Archives prior to treatment.

These photographs had previously been stored tightly rolled and they could not be unrolled for viewing without risking damage. Each photograph was flattened through a carefully controlled humidification process, and then encapsulated between Mylar sheets for safe storage and handling.

One of the photographs after flattening and encapsulation.



The Book of Mormon

Catalog record: BX8623 1840

This is an example of a custom housing created for a special collections volume that receives heavy use. The built-in cradle allows the book to be safely opened and displayed without removing it from the protective box. The cradle design was inspired by Katherine Beaty’s Cradle Box Instructions (2005).



The Woodward Room Collection

The Woodward Room bookshelves.

The Woodward Room, which is included in the history of the Baker-Berry Library, houses books from the original Dartmouth Library. The collections in this room suffered from wide temperature fluctuations that could not be controlled, so the books were moved to Special Collections storage for long-term preservation.

Damaged books in the Woodward Room.

As part of the moving process, the books came through the Conservation unit to be cleaned and repaired prior to storage. In total, more than 500 volumes were treated over a period of several months.

Repaired books in their new, environmentally controlled storage location.