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Exceptional enclosures

Preservation staff at the Libraries recently created custom enclosures to store and protect the beautiful and colorful seed packets held at the Andersen Horticultural Library at the Arboretum. While the seed packets are stored securely in AHL’s climate-controlled rare collections room, previously they were organized in pretty much the same way they’d arrived at the library: in plastic and paper bags or loose and piled on a shelf — all in no particular order, which made it difficult for AHL staff and researchers to use the collection.

Preserving perfection: Restoring Kate Greenaway’s watercolors

The Libraries' preservation department recently worked with five of Kate Greenaway’s watercolors, removing the mats and glue and ensuring that the artwork will remain in its current state far into the future, rather than further deteriorating. The watercolors are held in the Libraries' Children’s Literature Research Collections. Greenaway was a prominent 19th century English artist, best known for her charming children’s book illustrations featuring regency-era dressed children and floral designs. She was born in 1846 in London and studied art at several schools.
January 1875 volume of The Official Army Register,

A glimpse into history – and a mystery

The January 1875 volume of "The Official Army Register" recently came to the University Libraries Preservation team and it offers a glimpse into history and a bit of a mystery. Did Lieutenant General P. H. Sheridan himself once own this volume? Could the handwritten annotations be those of Sheridan? Or could they be those of a clerk working for Sheridan at the time or someone else? Any sleuths out there who may want to take this on would be wise to visit Sheridan's handwritten personal memoirs, which the Library of Congress has digitized.

Hidden beauty in ordinary books: Part 2

Our previous blog post talked about the history and the process of creating marbled paper to use as endsheets or covers for books. Today, we’re going to explore some of the myriad patterns that can be created using the marbling process. All of the examples below are from books in the University of Minnesota Libraries' general collections!  

Hidden beauty in ordinary books: Part 1

The quality of the content in our books is the primary reason why the Libraries' Collection Management and Preservation Department repairs our circulating collections. But look inside one of these books and you might be in for a surprise! Between their worn covers, many of these ordinary-appearing books have beautiful marbled endsheets.

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