The following items are available for adoption:


Set of 7 American trade card templates satirizing the Aesthetic movement with caricatures of characters from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience. United States: 1880s.
Call number: Wildeiana Box 28/Folder 39

These trade card templates would have served as marketing materials for salespeople offering a variety of promotional ephemera to storekeepers. They each feature a quote and a character from Gilbert & Sullivan’s 1881 comic operetta Patience, which poked fun at Oscar Wilde and his contemporaries in the Aesthetic movement of the 1880s and 1890s. An additional trade card, for a haberdasher in Mount Vernon, New York, shows what these cards would have looked like when in use.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $25 per card

Eliza Hocking and Laura Jane James, Victorian scrapbook. Cornwall, England: 1858-1888.
Call number: MS.2023.004

This scrapbook belonged to two generations of a Cornish family in the 19th century. The first owner, Eliza Hocking (1833-1886), appears to have collected mostly sentimental poetry, even some by her brother Charles. Eliza married Samuel Henry James in 1856 and had a daughter, Laura Jane James. Though Laura included some poems, she mostly added a variety of scraps, illustrations, wallpaper pieces, fashions, and pen-and-ink sketches. She never married and passed away in 1911. The album likely then passed on to another family member, although no material was added by them.

The Clark Library owns many commonplace albums or scrapbooks from earlier periods and also has an interest in late-19th-century fashion due to its Oscar Wilde collections. This item helps to bridge these different areas and eras.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $500

Le Trésor des Almanachs. Paris: chez Cailleau, 1784.
Call number: t *AY831.C13 1784

This 1784 almanac comprises a monthly calendar and ephemeride (a table that gives the trajectory of astronomical objects such as star constellations), moon phases, and saints’ days, which is typical in any early modern almanac. However, this work is supplemented with important information such as lists of cities and towns and brief information about their governments and a description of their location; a history of succession of the kings of France and list of members of the royal family; schedules and costs of public transportation between Paris and other towns and cities in France; and a list of the public and private libraries in Paris with interesting details such as the date that the library was founded, the name of the founder, and the number of books in each library and their opening hours. This little almanac also includes descriptions of trades and professions illustrated with allegorical woodcuts. It is stitched into gilt brocade paper.

Despite their original ephemeral nature, the Clark Library has an extensive collection of 18th-century almanacs that have survived through the centuries. Complementing our English almanac collection, and because it provided a snapshot of daily French life before the revolution, this little book was an attractive acquisition.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $900

Frank Drummond, Album of sketches and cartoons. London, England: about 1851-1900.
Call number: MS.2021.004

This album of street scenes, portraits, and cartoons of Victorian London was made by artist and actor Frank Drummond. We know very little about Drummond, whose work was apparently published in the English humor magazine Punch, but we are always interested in learning more about the London inhabited by Oscar Wilde and his circle.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $600

Sonia Farmer, A True & Exact History. Nassau: The Bahamas: Poinciana Paper Press, 2018.
Call number: Press coll. Poinciana Paper F1

This set of 93 cards allows the reader to mix and remix excerpts taken from a 17th-century book called A True and Exact History of Barbadoes, written by Richard Ligon in 1657. Ligon’s book was an influential account of the Caribbean for its 17th-century English readers, and a copy of Ligon’s True and Exact History is also in the Clark Library. In fragmenting Ligon’s book, Farmer says she hoped to disrupt the teleology of colonial Caribbean history and call into question what it means to write “a true and exact history” of anything. This book won the 2019 Holle Award for Excellence in Book Arts from the University of Alabama.

We acquired this book for our modern fine press collections, which frequently make connections and echoes between our 18th-century holdings and modern topics.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $700

Indenture to Thomas Gage in trust for Mary Tuke. London: May 22, 1723.
Call number: MS.2022.018

This 18th-century legal document conveys, from one member of the Gage family to another, a 260-acre plantation on the West Indian island of Montserrat, which included all the persons on the plantation who had been enslaved by the family. We acquired this manuscript in order to document the full scope of British activity in the 18th century, including imperialism and oppression.

Moreover, this item contains all the typical components of an 18th-century legal document, so also functions as a piece of law history. It is written by hand on parchment (animal skin). In the upper left corner is a blue embossed stamp in the margin showing the stamp tax had been paid. It has been punched through with a tin alloy tab to prevent the stamp’s reuse. At the bottom, the document is validated with the signers’ personal seals in red wax.

The wavy or “indented” top border gives these documents their name (“indentures”). It indicates that the deeds were made between two or more parties and was a safeguard against counterfeiting. The copies given to all parties were placed together and cut in this margin in a wavy, irregular pattern. In this way, the authenticity of each copy could be verified.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $925

Hand Shadow Charades Game. England: around 1920.
Call number: MS.2023.027

This homemade game of hand shadows seems to have been cut out from a newspaper series, mounted on cards, and bound accordion-style. A group could use these images to help them play Charades. The booklet includes instructions for making shadows in the shape of a clown, a turkey, and a roast pig.

We acquired this little book for our book history collections, as part of our interest in the different formats and interpretations of book structure and use.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $215

Dance cards. France: around 1850.
Call numbers: MS.2023.024, MS.2023.025, MS.2023.026

These little notebooks are dance cards, which first appeared at formal balls in the 18th century. They listed the specific dances to be performed, and provided spaces for women to write down the names of people with whom they intended to dance. Many included tiny pencils and ways for the cards to be fastened to the dancer. Some are very elaborate, like the ones made of mother-of-pearl and silver here.

They remained in use till the 1930s, when the formalities of 19th-century etiquette faded. But two phrases from the dance-card era still remain. To “pencil someone in” was to promise someone a dance at a ball, and some of us still say “our dance card is full” to turn someone away.

We acquired these as part of our interest in the history of the book and of writing and recordkeeping. One of the notebooks on display still contains pencil inscriptions of the names of its owner’s partners!

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $560 for each dance card

For Making All Kinds of British Wines. England: around 1808.
Call number: MS.2022.006

This handwritten recipe book includes 24 different recipes for wines made from fruits, flowers and herbs. The practice of making wines from these kinds of ingredients is common in areas, like England, where the climate is too cold for a grape harvest.

The recipes in this manuscript include wines made with raisins, currants, mulberries, lemons, turnips, birch, ginger and apricots. The manuscript also includes some instructions for brewing beer.

This acquisition supports the Clark Library’s extensive collection of 17th- and 18th-century recipe books. We are especially keen about handwritten recipe books demonstrating the interests of an individual compiler or their families.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $2,500

Language of Shape. Japan: Adachi Ryoko, 2020
Call number: Press coll. Adachi Ryoko F1

“Snowflakes are letters sent from the sky.”—Nakaya Ukichiro

Two books and one folded lithograph housed in a box. The first book, N.U. Read the Snow, is a poem interlaced with the words of Japanese scientists, Nakaya Ukichiro and Terada Torahiko, relating to the shape of snowflakes and ice crystals. The versos (or back pages) are lithographs of sodium sulfate crystals grown by Ryoko, photographed, and arranged as printing type. “While they are reminiscent of Nakaya’s ‘letters from the sky,’ they may also suggest the existence of numerous undiscovered languages and their precious messages in the world.” The second book, White Scenery, incorporates a close-up of yogurt photographed by Ryoko, reminiscent of Ukichiro’s descriptions of the Alaskan and Arctic landscapes which Nakaya studied while researching ice in the polar regions. “This essay helped me conceive all phenomena on the earth as part of one continuous connection, from the palm of one’s hand to the end of the universe. It is my hope that readers might visualize the majestic polar vista while looking at my ‘yogurt landscape,’ and that it evokes a sense of the connectedness of all things…”. The work also includes a photograph of sodium sulfate crystals, lithographically printed by KAWALABO! on bichu torinoko ganpishi paper.

This 21st-century artist book was purchased for a couple of reasons. The subject matter of language and alphabets relates to the Clark Library’s extensive holdings of works in translation, book history, and typography. We also felt the technique and style of this book provides another aspect of printing history for scholars to consider and echoes that of two other book artists whose work is represented at the Clark, that of Veronika Schäpers and Carolee Campbell.

Although this work is housed in its own printed box, that box needs protection too. Please consider an additional donation towards preservation housing.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $1,800

Amount we are seeking to support preservation of this item’s box: up to $100

Tammy Wofsey, Game Theory: A Guide. Brooklyn: Plotzing Press, 2008.
Call number: Press coll. Plotzing 1  

Game Theory is based on the game rock, paper, scissors. Tammy Wofsey, the one-woman print-maker and publisher of Plotzing Press, based in the Bronx, New York, is its creator. This and all of her other books are hand-printed and limited-edition. It is part of our fine press collection and also fits well with the many games within our holdings (mostly from an earlier time period – the 17th and 18th centuries).

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $1,200

Ladies Companion sewing kit. Paris: 19th century.
Call number: MS.2022.005

We acquired this item to support research in book and printing history, which includes objects that look like books but are not books. This item appears to be a book titled Ladies Companion, but it is actually a sewing kit that still contains a thimble, a bone and silver punch, a spool of white linen thread, and needle cases with needles. We were also drawn to the connections this item suggests between needlework, reading and writing, which is a theme of many other items in our collections.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $1,250

Letterheads and billheads from Anaconda and Butte, Montana. Late 19th century-early 20th century.
Call number: MS.2022.022

These letterheads and billheads from Anaconda and Butte, Montana originate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and are therefore a very good fit with the history of the Library’s founder, William Andrews Clark, Jr. (1877-1934), who was born in Montana. Mining plays a particularly important role in the Butte papers, which also works well with Clark history, since Clark, Jr.’s wealth was built upon copper mining. There are a variety of other local businesses represented, as well: a cafe, tailoring company, meat company, dairy company, florist, and more.

3-ring binders work well for temporary storage, but they are not safe for long-term preservation. We would like to remove the letterheads and billheads from their current housing and put them into acid-free folders and boxes.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $3,250

Amount we are seeking to support the preservation housing of this collection: up to $200

Edgar Allan Poe, Conchyliorum: On Investigating Shells and Collecting. Leavenworth, WA: Wiesedruck Press, 2022.
Accession number: 2023.044

Edgar Allan Poe’s best-selling book during his lifetime, surprisingly, was not a book of one of his harrowing tales or poems but his scientific guide to seashells, The Conchologist’s First Book (first published in 1839). This was a less expensive version of another seashell textbook. Conchylorium is a fine-press take on Poe’s book that includes the introduction from Poe and 41 etchings of 56 shells. The artist, Sarah Horowitz, further wanted this book to represent the history of collecting, with its both positive and colonial, negative connotations.

Poe was a favorite writer of fellow University of Virginia graduate William Andrews Clark, Jr., and the Clark Library has other Poe materials, such as the very rare Tamerlane (1827), a couple manuscripts, and a copy of the first edition of The Conchologist’s First Book, which makes Conchylorium a natural fit.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $3,500

Abrahami Gorlaei Antverpiani Dactyliotheca seu Annulorum sigillarium quorum apud priscos tam Graecos quam Romanos usus. [English translation: Abraham von Goorle of Antwerp’s Dactyliotheca, or, Signet rings used by the ancient Greeks and Romans]. 1601.
Call number: *NK5515.G66 D2 1601

For centuries, engraved gems were collected for their beauty, rarity, and symbolism. By 1700, most of the ancient cameos and intaglios, those that were engraved by the Greeks and Romans were secured away in European private collections. Fortunately, casts in plaster and red sulfur wax made study and secondary collecting possible. William Tassie’s invention of glass paste impressions during the 18th century briefly fueled a craze for dactyliotheca (a case for a collection, a catalog, or a book reproducing illustrations of a collection of gems and rings). His travels throughout Europe to record as many of these gems as possible and recreate their brilliance attracted the attention of Catherine the Great of Russia who ordered every item in Tassie’s two-volume catalog. However, credit for this craze for engraved gems should really start with the early modern connoisseur in Antwerp, Abraham van Goorle (1549-ca. 1608). His 1601 book, shown here, was the first to describe and catalog such a collection, and it was purchased on behalf of Henry, Prince of Wales, a few years after the publication of this book.

Not only are the images of the rings and gemstone details striking, but the portrait of van Goorle provides valuable information about the storage techniques and research activities on engraved gems and rings. The Clark Library collects books as material-culture objects that feature interesting printed elements or respond to bibliographic practices. Dactyliotheca is just another form of this practice.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $3,000 

The Arts, Trades, and Cries of Paris, taken from nature. London: Printed for J. Izzard, approximately 1818.
Call number: *GT3450.A78 1818

This collection of hand-colored engravings depicts the working classes of post-Revolution Paris. Labeled in French and in English are the expected services one would find in a bustling metropolis, such as a water-carrier, cobbler, a chimney sweep, and a seller of lottery tickets, but did you know that early 19th-century Parisians had a mobile dog grooming service? Or an exterminator who specialized in catching May bugs? They also had an opportunity to enjoy fresh butter, shelled peas, mackerel, cherries, artichokes, and dried beans while strolling down le boulevard. This book was once part of the late, great, sleight-of-hand artist Ricky Jay’s collection, and also depicts conjurers, ballad singers, and fortune tellers.

This well-used book is also in need of rebinding, so please consider an additional donation towards conservation.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $3,200

Amount we are seeking to support the preservation housing of this item: up to $100

The Compleat Wizzard: Being a Collection of authentic and entertaining Narratives of the real Existence and Appearance of Ghosts, Demons, and Spectres. London: Printed for T. Evans, 1770.
Call number: *BF1445.C73 1770

Many of our visitors think that the Clark Library is haunted, so we thought it only appropriate to include this book during “spooky season.” This 18th-century compilation of fact and fantasy describes purported hauntings, visitations, unexplained sounds, nightmares, psychic phenomena, actual witch-hunts, and magical practices. These reportings demonstrate the ongoing and universal fascination of the unexplained.

The Clark Library has a small but important collection of occult topics from the early modern period, and this book from Ricky Jay’s collection complements it.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $4,000

François Louis Jamet, compiler. Cartouche. France: about 1738-1775.
Call number: MS.2022.032

The Clark Library has collected a number of books by 18th-century French book collector François Louis Jamet, who had a complex and unique way of binding, annotating, and otherwise interacting with his books. This volume of works all about an infamous French highwayman and criminal ringleader, Louis Dominique Cartouche, is the latest item from Jamet’s collection to arrive at the Clark. As he did here, Jamet regularly had collections of related items bound together in one volume – these items included individual books and plays, short pamphlets, individual poems and illustrations cut out from other works, and pages of handwritten commentary written by him or transcribed from other sources. Jamet’s volumes are not always as uniform in their subject matter as this one, but they are all spectacular examples of how a reader of the past interacted both physically and intellectually with the things he read.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $6,800

The Trials of Oscar Wilde book, screenplay and photographs. England: 1948 & 1960.
Call number: MS.2023.001

Montgomery Hyde’s 1948 book on Wilde’s 1895 trials was, when it was published, the most complete account of the three trials that led to Wilde’s imprisonment for “gross indecency,” and in 1958, theater and film censors lifted restrictions on portrayals of homosexuality on screen and on stage. Perhaps as a result, 2 feature films about Wilde were released in 1960 — one of them being Ken Hughes’s The Trials of Oscar Wilde, written in collaboration with H. Montgomery Hyde, which went on to win the Golden Globe for Best English-Language Foreign Film. This small collection includes a copy of Hyde’s book, a set of production and publicity stills, and a copy of the first draft of Hughes’s screenplay.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $7,500

William Caxton, translator, The Fables of Esope. Newton, Montgomeryshire, Wales: The Gregynog Press, 1931.
Call number: Press coll. Gregynog F 5

Agnes Miller Parker did the illustrations for Gregynog Press’s The Fables of Esope early on in her career. Her husband, whom she had met while a student at the Glasgow School of Art, did the printing. Her work for Gregynog Press and these illustrations were particularly famous.

The Gregynog Press was also founded by women – the sisters Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. A very Welsh press, not only were many of the books based in Wales, but a number of the books included the Welsh language and/or had Welsh authors or authors with Welsh connections.

The text for this book comes from an old translation by William Caxton (c. 1422-1491), a translator and printer, who brought the technology of printing to England. This book therefore works well with our other works in translation, book history collection (including other titles by William Caxton), and fine press books by women.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $6,300

Hugh Platte, The Jewell House of Art and Nature: containing divers rare and profitable inventions, together with sundry new experiments in the art of husbandry, distillation, and moulding. London: Printed by Peter Short, 1594.
Call number: *T44.P71 J5

This is a 16th-century book of secrets. It explains many things that could be helpful to someone interested in sticking their hands into molten lead, holding hot irons with their bare hands, figuring out how to breathe while casting their face in hot wax, and how to avoid a fall off a high scaffold. It also contains hints and instructions on more mundane topics such as food preservation in hot weather, preventing ink from freezing in cold weather, baiting fish, computing the number of fruits in a basket, how to stop doors from squeaking, how to tell when the moon is full by a glass of water, and our personal favorite: how to read secretary hand.

This fascinating work complements our existing holdings of 16th-century literature. We can also trace some provenance from a 19th-century owner who inscribed this book and another owner who corrected the name of the dedicatee.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $11,400

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana. Sanborn Map Company, 1916.
Call number: MS.2023.006

The Sanborn Map Company was founded in 1827 by D. A. Sanborn and served as the primary American publisher of fire insurance maps for nearly 100 years. Their maps assisted insurance agents in determining how much risk was associated with a particular property, and so they show the size, shape, and construction of dwellings, commercial buildings, and factories. They also show the widths and names of streets, property boundaries, building uses, house and block numbers, and the locations of water mains and other utilities. In these ways, Sanborn maps are a valuable source of information about the history, growth, and development of American neighborhoods, towns, and cities.

We acquired this set of maps to enrich our collections on the history of Montana and the Clark family, who made their fortune in Montana copper mines in the 19th century. This set is a working copy, with onlays pasted and taped onto the pages and other markings on each map showing property usage, new developments, and updated zoning in Butte and outlying areas.

Map 36 depicts the Columbia Gardens Pleasure Resort, which had a rollercoaster, dance hall, ball grounds, and arcade, and which William Andrews Clark, Sr. bought in 1900. The maps also show the mines that operated in Butte, primarily by Clark’s chief economic and political rival Marcus Daly, who owned the Anaconda Mining Company.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $7,500

The County Fan. London: Sarah Ashton, 1794.
Accession number: 2022.121

This fan provides quick information on the counties of England and Wales. The figure of Alfred the Great sits in the middle because, as noted on the fan, he “first divided England into counties.” This fan is also notable for being double-sided (many are only printed on one side).

The printer of this fan, Sarah Ashton, was known for her publishing of fan leaves in England, where she was part of The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. We have a number of her fans in our collection. It is exciting to have this aspect of women’s print culture, history, and fashion represented at the Clark Library.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $3,500  

Juliana Berners, Gentlemans Academie. Or, the Booke of S. Albans. London: Printed for H. Lownes, 1595.
Call number: *SK25.B52 B7 1595

The Book of Saint Albans was first printed in 1486 and is a compilation of matters relating to the interests of the time of a gentleman. It originally contained essays on hawking, hunting, and heraldry. The book was very popular and was reprinted many times. This is a copy of the first edition edited by Gervase Markham, which credits the section on hunting to Juliana Berners, making this the earliest English printed book with a credited female author.

Berners may have been a prioress of the Sopwell Priory near St. Albans in Hertfordshire, England. She was probably born into the nobility, which would explain her level of education and her love of field sports. The legacy of using collective nouns in English, like “a gaggle of geese,” can be traced back to their appearance in her section on hunting.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $18,000

Oscar Wilde, Notebook on philosophy. Oxford, England, 1876-1878.
Call number: Wilde W6721M3 N9113 [1876/8] Bound

This is perhaps one of the most-used Oscar Wilde manuscripts at the Clark Library – and for good reason. Composed between 1876-1878 when Wilde was a student at Oxford, it contains his notes on the philosophers he was studying and offers a candid glimpse into the workings of his mind as a young scholar. Written in a combination of English, Latin, and Greek, this notebook allows researchers to understand more about the philosophical underpinnings that would influence so much of his later work. It also offers an alternative view of Wilde – here, we get a peek at the serious, studious Wilde who actually worked quite hard to come up with the bon mots he might appear to casually throw around.

This notebook wasn’t made to be an object that could stand up to the amount of use it has gotten since entering the library collections in 2001 – the book itself is just a composition book, likely purchased off the shelf at an Oxford stationers, and is beginning to show extreme wear to its spine and the edges of its pages. Pages are also starting to come loose at the beginning and end of the volume, and stabilization work by a conservation professional would allow for many years more of careful use by researchers.

Amount we are seeking to support conservation work on this item: up to $2,000

Henri Bonnart, engraver, Dame faizant la Meridiene. Paris: 1694.
Call number: MS.2023.007

This is an example of an “adorned print” and an unexpected example of women’s print culture and history in the 17th century. The engraver of the original print, Henri Bonnart, was famous for creating portraits showing female celebrities of the time in the latest fashions. The practice of adorning started as the creation of devotional objects by nuns sold to raise funds for the convent or for the poor earlier in the century. By the time of this print, this had become a craft for women at home and, as it became more popular, began to include various royalty and celebrities, like the figure portrayed here. Adorning is much more involved than simply layering fabrics on top of a picture. It often uses fabrics beneath the print, with parts of the print cut away to reveal the fabric and then reattached above the fabric to create dimension and perspective.

In this adorned print, the woman wears a green brocade silk gown and golden cloak. The verse caption mentions her holding a rose, so it is possible that her right hand grasps its stalk, although the original print has no evidence of a flower. A short verse and the title of the print, in French, is on the back.

Amount we are seeking to support acquisition: up to $3,600

Amount we are seeking to support conservation work on this item: up to $750

Pair of bronze medals issued by Ottley of Birmingham. Birmingham, England: about 1825.
Accession number: 2023.009

Before smartphones there were ready-reckoners such as these two medals, cast to commemorate the ascension of King George IV in 1762. One of these medals lists out the chronology of the reigns of England from William I (in the year 1087) and ending with George IV. The other medal has an alphabetical list of the bath towns of England and how far they are from London. It also includes the distances from Oxbridge and Cambridge, and the major cities of Scotland. On the reverse side of this medal is a mileage chart between London and cities of England. Spa day, anyone?

Housed in a velvet-lined, red morocco case, we purchased this item for its unique media, its connections to the Clark Library’s geography and history holdings, and as evidence of early collectibles. The case is an important part of this acquisition, and we are seeking additional funds to help with preservation housing.

Amount we are seeking to support acquisition: up to $950

Amount we are seeking to support preservation for this item: up to $100

Ann Matthews Urmson, Embroidered samplers. Liverpool, England, about 1790.
Call number: MS.2021.042.

This sampler was acquired as a set of three embroidered by a young woman named Ann Matthews at the Walton School near Liverpool in 1790. The fact that the Clark is acquiring non-print, non-paper items might seem surprising, but acquisitions like this are one way to diversify our 18th-century holdings to include more work by women and young people, whose writing and works are often not as easy to collect as those by adult men in the same period. We are also always interested in the way that written information was circulated in that time period — whether in print or handwriting on paper, or in embroidery on fabric. Because of this sampler’s early 19th-century frame (a label on the back indicates Ann Matthews had it framed after her marriage to Robert Urmson in 1797), and the age of the textile itself, this item and the other two like it appear very fragile, and conservation assessment and treatment by a professional textile or object conservator would help to make us better stewards of Ann Matthews Urmson’s work.

Amount we are seeking to support this acquisition: up to $2,500

Amount we are seeking to support conservation work on this collection: up to $500 per sampler

One of the first things a librarian-in-training learns are the five laws of library science, proposed by S. R. Ranganathan in 1931. The first law: “”Books are for use,” succinctly states that books (and manuscripts and, in fact, all of our resources) are acquired to be read and studied. They are only useful if they are used. Our materials get a lot of use. Sometimes even too much use. Time and previous owners haven’t always treated our materials gently, and they need some conservation help. Other materials need a proactive approach to keep them in tip-top shape for the future. This group of materials demonstrates the different needs related to conservation and preservation and what your donation will help accomplish.

There’s never a shortage of material that could use a housing upgrade. We are seeking support for an unlimited number of the following types of preservation housing or rebinding:

 “Dustjackets”—Books with dust jackets need protection. Dust jackets usually have interesting and important information not found on other parts of the book. Mylar jackets help protect them during handling and while they are on the shelves.

Amount we are seeking: $5 for every 20 jackets

“Pamphlet Bindings”—Thin pamphlets or paperbacks need protection. Pamphlet bindings help protect them during handling and while they are on the shelves.

Amount we are seeking: $35 for every 5 pamphlet binders

“Rebacking and other repairs”— Sometimes covers fall off because the threads, glue, or paper holding them together can no longer support the boards. Rebacking retains the original boards, but strengthens the joint to prevent future loss and damage.

Amount we are seeking: up to $100 for each volume

“Clamshell Box”—Parchment or animal, usually the skin of a goat or calf, is very sensitive to environmental conditions, particularly humidity. Parchment tends to curl, pulling the covers with it as it absorbs moisture in the air. A box helps keep the covers flat and protects the parchment while sitting on a shelf.

Amount we are seeking: up to $100 for each volume

 “Phase Box”—Original covers provide important information. They can show previous ownership, interesting decorations, and other features important for those studying the history of the book or historic bookbinding techniques. Keeping the original covers is important, but we also want to keep them safe from further damage, so putting these items in boxes will help protect them for future use.

Amount we are seeking: $50 for each phase box

“Library Binding”—Modern reference works like periodicals and magazines are collected and kept for the information they contain, rather than their artifactual value. To ensure their future usability and to keep them safe on the shelves, they are collected and bound in “library buckram.” The original covers are also bound inside this protective binding so that information is retained too.

Amount we are seeking: $50 for each buckram binding for each volume

Thank you!