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Subject: Storing manuals

Storing manuals

From: Melissa Heaver <melissa_heaver>
Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2000
In my spare time, I work as the volunteer registrar at the Fire
Museum of Maryland, outside of Baltimore. In our archives, we have a
large number of manuals that were originally used by mechanics to
repair fire engines, instructors to train new recruits, and
manufacturer's representatives in selling apparatus to various fire
departments. These manuals are currently stored by manufacturer in
acid-free file folders in a vertical file system.

My question involves how to better protect these manuals in storage.
Most of them are bound with heavy fabric-covered cardboard covers
and are held together at one end by the post method that was used
for many years to hold financial (and museum registrars!) ledgers
together. They are all a variety of sizes, and most are not in the
greatest shape (grease and oil from mechanics' hands, abuse from use
in fire department maintenance shops, etc.) Although we try and
xerox a "for use" copy whenever possible, I need to be able to
provide a quick and easy system for storage, that will support what
are now fragile bindings, with ease of use for curatorial and
maintenance/restoration staff. Some of the 19th C. manuals that are
in really bad shape have already been put into rare book storage
boxes and closed with a piece of Velcro or else tied together with
linen tape. I don't want to put them on a regular library shelf like
a book, as they don't stand well by themselves, and the bindings sag
and break too easily.

Any ideas on how I might deal with this problem would be greatly
appreciated. We are about to receive a large collection of such
manuals, in addition to the 2000+ we already have, and I need to be

Melissa M. Heaver
Director-Museum Collections
National Trust for Historic Preservation
1785 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-588-6232 (f)

Fire Museum of Maryland
info [at] firemuseummd__org

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:15
                 Distributed: Thursday, August 24, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-15-013
Received on Tuesday, 22 August, 2000

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