Dime Novels 3

October 3, 2006

I also contacted Peter D. Verheyen, Preservation & Digital Access Librarian, Special Collections Research Center,Syracuse University Library, too. Here is his response:

In terms of storage and access, that is always a difficult challenge as the physical condition of the items is often quite brittle making handling a chore, even under the best of conditions. The originals of the microfilmed volumes are no longer accessible, but all others are. Volumes that are not in hard covers are placed in phase boxes (simple wrappers made of folder stock), a task completed by students. Manuals are online .
One thing I do urge is that the volumes not be handled in gloves. I will admit (even as a conservator) that I am not in favor of the use of gloves for the vast majority of materials. This holds particularly true dime novels and pulp as the brittle paper catches readily in the rough edges of the paper and leads to tears and breaks. Clean (bare) hands are best.

So that’s two votes for phase boxes. I have students that are great phase box manufactors, but their eyes are going to roll at 900. Of course most will be close to the same size, so perhaps we can get an assembly line going. 🙂

Peter wrote back after reading Andrea’s comment:

Re: Andrea Reithmayer’s comment on deacidification. It is great if the materials, paper, are still in good condition as it can greatly reduce the aging of the paper. If the paper is already brittle, it will not make it less so, unfortunately. It is also a rather expensive treatment so pieces need to be carefully selected. She is also spot-on about the staples making the volumes difficult to open and read.

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