Thursday, March 6, 2014

Conservation Corner: Historical Book Repair


The opening displayed in the exhibit.  Mends were applied to the fore edge to stabilize the page and prevent further tearing or loss.  Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress Blog.
The opening displayed in the exhibit.
Mends were applied to the fore edge to stabilize the page and prevent further tearing or loss.
Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress Blog.
February 12, 2014.
Don Paterson, guest blogger for the Library of Congress Blog, has written a thought provoking post about the efforts expended to preserve archival material for future generations, in particular the efforts to preserve a copy of the "17th century book of Spanish laws for governing settlements in the New World, “Recopilacion de Leyes de Los Reynos de Las Indias,” ".

"According to John Hessler, curator of the Kislak collection, the translation of the title is “Collection of the Laws of the Kingdoms of the Indies” and is an extremely important compendium. The book was brought together under the reign of Charles II and is a compilation of all the laws that had been drafted by the Spanish in the New World since its discovery. Containing copies of all the laws, privileges and charters for the running of settlements in the Indies, this volume provided information on every possible facet of community planning and as such gives incredible insight into how the Spanish administered the first settlements in the New World, updating the information found in much earlier documents like Columbus’ Book of Privileges, which is also a collection of legal documents.
All books that are selected for exhibit undergo a conservation review. During this process, conservators identified numerous problems with “Recopilacion” to be addressed before safely displaying the item..."
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