Thursday, February 19, 2009

The City of Holyoke circa 1876

Recently a patron requested The City of Holyoke: Its Water Power and Its Industries for use in the Special Collections reading room. Upon pulling the item it became clear that this pamphlet was in need of preservation work. Printed around 1876, this oversize pamphlet volume includes pictures of buildings and sites where water power was in use, such as paper mills.

Pages measure 17 inches by 22 inches and the cover is the same weight of paper as the rest of the pages. This item was folded in quarters and stored in an acid free envelope. As the printed paper aged it became acidic and the folds provided a weak point at which the paper cracked. Today the paper is very brittle at all folds, and small sections along the folds and edges have cracked off. The plan for this item is to flatten it, snip the thread keeping the center sections of the pamphlet together, repair each sheet with Japanese tissue, and assess the resulting item's strength. If needed single sheets will be encapsulated to provide further support.

Click on the image above to view the contact sheet of the pamphlet pages before repair. Stay tuned to the blog over the next several weeks to view progress on this pamphlet.

- Lacy Crews, Preservation Librarian