fuzzybluemonkeys: I just read the most wonderful story about a beanstalk and an ogre and (oh really)
They always focus on the electronic aspect of SHIELD's record-keeping, but there's got to be a physical Archive somewhere (because paper backup that's why)(also because digitization will never quite capture the mud and blood and wrinkles and notes and drawings all over the Howling Commandos' "official" map of France).
And when SHIELD falls to Hydra, the Archive does not fall. Because you do not fuck with a Librarian. Or an Archivist. Or any library staff, really. Like, people who have dedicated their lives to the preservation of knowledge are not going to let Nazis destroy and/or corrupt that knowledge. (And the Preservation Department has lots of sharp objects in it, I'm just saying.)

And then when the info gets dumped on the internet, the head librarian is like, finally, I've been saying this for years, can we open the Archive to the public now?

Now I've just got to figure out what A.R.C.H.I.V.E. should stand for...


(Archival Resources Collective & Headquarters of Internally Verified Ephemera?)
fuzzybluemonkeys: I just read the most wonderful story about a beanstalk and an ogre and (oh really)
that my thought processes at work are fairly often of the "Poor baby, what did they do to you?" variety.

My maternal instincts (such as they are) are only activated by cats and books, is what I'm saying.

Carry On

Nov. 15th, 2012 06:27 pm
fuzzybluemonkeys: (highway)
So, I've been volunteering at the UIowa Conservation Lab and outside the lab is a book truck parking lot of sorts. Included amongst these is one labeled "Noisy, Wayward Cart". Which of course leads to Carry On Wayward Son running through my head. Today I added a little post-it note that said CARRY ON MY WAYWARD CART. As you do.

Carry on my wayward cart,
Don't be done before you start,
Lay your weary wheels to rest,
Don't ya squeak no more.
fuzzybluemonkeys: I just read the most wonderful story about a beanstalk and an ogre and (oh really)
So of course I forgot all about buying text books or else I might have tried ordering them earlier, so I could get them used.
Fortunately, only one of my classes even has books. Unfortunately, it has six. Five of which I managed to purchase at used book stores around town.

First stop: Murphy-Brookfield Books where I got Journeys in New Worlds: Early American Women's Narratives for $6.50 (as opposed to $17.95) and Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography for $15 (which isn't that much less than the $17.92, but my copy is a hardback from 1951* (and came with a book sleeve/case thingy) with like, marble paper on the covers and illustrations inside, so there).

*Which could get me in trouble since he said he wanted a specific edition, but the prof is my adviser, and based on what I know of him, I think I could be all Flaily Hands Book Nerd (which is honestly what happened) about it and he'd be okay.

Second stop: The Haunted Bookshop which is officially has the best book shopping experience because there is at least one cat in the store and zhe was adorable and let me pet zir. There I got Charlotte Temple for $3.95 (take that $17.54), Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man for 50 cents (only $2.50 new, but I saved a whole $2), and I got The Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (as opposed to Selected Tales) for $20 (which in this instance is a splurge, but I get more stories for my buck and it's a two volume hardback set, and really, I could get a brand new so-called "perfect" (adhesive) binding and it would fall apart sooner than my 1982 hardbacks and they are prettier besides, and I mean really, it's Poe creeptasticness, what's not to love?)

So of course neither of them had the most expensive book that's also the one I need to have to do reading from in advance of Thursday's class and of course they only have one copy in the library and it's checked out and on hold, so it's too late to order it online and I'll have to pay full (almost $50!) price for Perspectives on American Book History. I hate paying full price.
fuzzybluemonkeys: (highway)
So I spent, well, we'll say 2.25 days in Iowa City/Coralville because Tuesday and Friday were pretty much Travel Extravaganza days (Drive to Princeton! Take the Dinky! Take the Train! Take the AirTrain Monorail Thingy! Take a Plane! Take Another Plane! Drive Rental Car! And then I got to do all that in reverse! *collapses*). Oddly enough, though I didn't feel well while traveling and had to use the bathroom at various airports, I didn't get the super epic owies until Saturday when I was home, so who knows what's up with that.
So I looked at apartments and found a place I liked (so of course it's all restrictive to get into, but we'll see). I went to the Coralville Public Library a whole lot and used their 30 minutes at a time free internet access to frantically google things and check my email and so forth. And then I got to get a tour at the Center for the Book which is in an old teaching school so the one entrance says "High School" and there are lockers in the halls and stuff. So that was cool, but the Center is very limited physical space-wise, so I'll have to get used to that. Then I met with my adviser, who might not continue to be my adviser because he's more on the history side of things and is, as much as I hate to use a BMR coined phrase, not a practitioner. And while part of my purpose is to learn historical things, I think I'd relate better to someone who does the physical hands-on stuff, since that is my passion or whathaveyou. He did take me to see the University Library's Conservation Lab, which was awesome, cuz I'm a conservation/preservation nerd.
Meanwhile, I was missing my Bootsie something fierce, and he was missing me because he wouldn't even eat his wet food til I came back (though it looked like he munched some dry, so he wasn't starving or anything). So when I finally got home Friday night, we had our reunion and have been snuggling lots to make up for lost time.
fuzzybluemonkeys: What big eyes you have, the kind of eyes that drive wolves mad (42)
Basically, what we have here is a huge-ass book with a built-in death wish. Like, no matter what you do to it, it will eventually die due to a silly little thing called gravity (elephant folio ≈ 2 feet tall). Hence the incredibly damaged state it was in when it got to me. So I had to do a split-board binding on that ginormous fucker and it was not fun. And did I mention there are two of them? I was forced to make a rule: Only one book trying to kill me per week. So last week was Volume 2 and this week was Volume 1 (which was in worse shape, but thankfully I learned a bit from Volume 2, so I think it went faster? Last week's was 400+ minutes... I haven't added up this week's cuz it's not quite done).
Anyway, there's another one that's slightly shorter (thank the Preservation Gods)-- of course it's also thicker ("thanks", Preservation Gods), and of course, I have to do all three of them myself because I have the dubious honor of being the Tech who gets given all the problem child books.
fuzzybluemonkeys: Anything you can geek, I can geek greater (geekery)
Spoilers for Whatever The Heck Last Night's Episode Of Leverage Was Called )
fuzzybluemonkeys: (dorktastic)
[It doesn't really fit with the rest of the Statement of Purpose, but Shal asked for some enthusiasm, and this is what I came up with.]

Books are awesome. And by "awesome" I am referring to the original "awe-inspiring" meaning of the word. Even the most basic of adhesive bindings has the ability to create new worlds. From the lowliest mass market paperback to the most ornate custom handbinding, books are all the same at their core: purveyors of information, sharers of ideas, collectors of human thought. Books are the original internet; the first way to spread concrete ideas and preserve them through generations even after the cultures that wrote them have been lost. And yet, for all that we have been told not to "judge a book by its cover", by its outside, by its appearance, the covers and bindings of these books are what hold them together and protect them. Without adhesives or sewing, books would just be stacks of paper. Without anything to connect the pages to each other, they could be easily separated and lost, destroying the assembled bookly whole.
fuzzybluemonkeys: Your silliness is noted. (alpha)
This statement should convince the admissions committee that the applicant has formulated ideas about the importance of book studies in the context of his or her career aspirations. It should also summarize the applicant's experience, skills, and goals.

[Note: Actual "career aspirations" can be summed up as: working in Conservation/Preservation in a place where co-workers do not induce fits of rage.]

[Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start..]
My first introduction to Preservation/Conservation occurred in the form of a part-time job as a student at the University of Rochester. It turned out to be the perfect job for me because it combined my love of books with my skills in arts and crafts. I was fascinated to learn that the books I held so dear could be repaired and protected from further damage. While employed in the Rochester Preservation Lab, I learned to make enclosures such as phase boxes
[...okay, is there a way to do this without just listing things? I mean, I've got a list on my resume that's also going to be submitted, but in terms of "experience, skills..." I feel like I ought to mention this stuff-- skipping for now...]
Based on my eight semesters of experience as a student technician, I was able to get a job as a Conservation Technician in Princeton University's Collections Conservation Unit. While employed there for the past five years, I have had the opportunity to learn many new techniques as well as improving upon those that I was already familiar with [Yeah, yeah, don't end a sentence with a preposition blah blah blah prescriptive grammar blah].
[...another place for a list of techniques I know how to do?]
I have now reached a point in my career [I feel so weird calling it a career] where on-the-job training is no longer sufficient. In order to advance in terms of both career and understanding, it is necessary to pursue further education in bookbinding techniques. Properly conserving books requires knowledge of not only how those books were made, but also why they were made in such a way.
In addition to familiarizing myself with books as completed entities, I also hope to learn about their component parts via the courses offered concerning papermaking and printing.
Having handled thousands of damaged books in my short career, I know enough to perform the tasks assigned to me, but not nearly as much as I would like to. My hope is that I will be admitted into the University of Iowa Center for the Book Certificate Program, so that I can learn new techniques and expand upon, if not correct and alter, what I already know.



[For those of you who've made it this far (have a cookie!), some questions:
How super stunningly obvious is it that I haven't done any academic writing in the past 5 years?
Is it too vague? It's only supposed to be one page, but with double spacing a page goes by pretty quick.. or should I not do double spacing? And when I figure out how to put the list of shit I know how to do in there it will be longer.. or is that too specific? Gah. Vague instrucations are vague.]
fuzzybluemonkeys: (dorktastic)
Lookit the teeny leetle books! )
fuzzybluemonkeys: I just read the most wonderful story about a beanstalk and an ogre and (oh really)
So, the UUCWC membership book has been returned to Bonnie, who has been the impetus/liason for all of this, via her husband Friday night because she was away for the weekend.
Having returned, she has now sent the "Oh, it's so beautiful, blah blah blah" email, but instead of me being able to be all yay, I'm done, she added this wrinkle:
"I know you said originally that you wouldn't charge the church for it, but I think you should reconsider. What would be a fair price? Just let me know and I'll make sure it happens."
To which I'm just like, I dunno? 50 bucks? Is that too much? Of course, it would have been hundreds of dollars if they'd gotten a professional private conservator to do it instead of someone who used to go there and whose parental units are members (it was actually pretty cool to find their names in the book), and who figured it'd be a good learning opportunity. But like I said, I used to go there, and all I ever heard and hear from PUs is how much money the church doesn't have, so if anything, I'm more inclined to go with some sort of allocation of $50 to the Social ActionJustice Committee (I prefer the old school term of "action" because it implies actually getting off your ass and doing something, which, granted, I only really do once a year, but I don't even go to the damn church anymore so what's the rest of the congregation's excuse?) or Green Sanctuary or something.
On the other [evil] hand, money is always nice, and it's not like I didn't earn it by working my ass off on the book.
But both my [evil and otherwise] hands are mostly just like Gah! Take the book and leave me alone!
fuzzybluemonkeys: (dorktastic)
It's my first private conservation job!
So, back in the fall, I was asked to take a look at the UUCWC membership book (from 1916), and see if it was fixable. It was, and I fixed it. In the meantime, I learned these bits of conservation geekery:
-The current binding is cloth, but the original binding was leather as evidenced by the bits of leather I found hidden on the joints (and maybe that explains why it has such gorram huge joints... hmmm.)
-In addition to being rebound at some point, it was previously repaired by someone. They used heat-set tissue (perfectly okay to use, I used some too), did some resewing, and applied PVA directly to the spine (NOT OKAY. And more relevant to me, not reversible, so I just left it as is-- the textblock is actually pretty solid)

And now [drumroll, please], the picspam.

Antebellum )
Postbellum )
fuzzybluemonkeys: Rufus/Bucket of Sunshine (oh the humanity)


Except intentionally defacing the book in order to prevent it from being defaced sorta misses the point.

Now, I got this book through InterLibrary Loan to replace missing pages from one of Princeton's books, and I briefly considered going through the rigmarole of sending it back and trying to get another one with unmarred pictures, but that's a pain for me and the ILL people (who I'm pretty sure already dislike me for my pickiness), so Princeton's just gonna have to deal with University of Pennsylvania stamps on the pages that are gonna be photocopied and therefore sorta crappy anyway.
fuzzybluemonkeys: fuzzy blue monkey (who)
There is a library book that has multiple chapters* worth of this bullshit:




I erased most of it on Tuesday and my wrist still hurts.

Why? Why would you write in a library book that does not belong to you? Why would you underline an entire chapter worth of text instead of just making some notation about how chapters 5-7 are the ones you need to use? Why can't you just make some photocopies? Why can't you just take notes? Why do you do these things to the point where I have to hurt myself undoing them?

*I decided to forgo actually counting how many chapters because then instead of reading this you'd be reading about the Princeton employee who went on a killing spree and first stabbed her victims in the right hand with a pencil before shoving an eraser down each one's throat.
fuzzybluemonkeys: winged fuzzy blue monkey (silly)
Why is this box epic? Well it's flat out tall, for one thing:


And then there's the whole triple decker aspect:


And the fact that the top layer has this plexiglass lid that slides on:


And it wasn't like I got to make 3 equal in size slots, the different pieces were different heights and widths and thicknesses, and the bit with the lid has grooves and lips and I had dreams about this box. I spent a lot of time at work just thinking and planning and drawing and figuring out how the hell I was gonna make the damn thing. There aren't instructions for this level of creative problem solving. It took like, mad engineering skillz and it also took over my brain. So I'm glad it's done.*

Now what was all this epic effort for?
This:


Yes, that is a falsie. No, I do not know why it's on the cover of a book. I'm guessing it's supposed to be "art", but the foam rubber is disintegrating and was getting smooshed by the original slipcase it came in (preserved in the bottom shelf). The goal of the plexi is that peeps can see the book cover without touching it (or breathing on it), and then access the text (in a wrapper in the middle shelf).

*Of course now they want me and Jody (who gave me this monstrosity and was my sounding board and helped with the thinking thinky thoughts) to write an article about it for the Alumni Newsletter or something.
fuzzybluemonkeys: fuzzy blue monkey (highlander)
I will miss you, oh apron coated with stalagmites of glue, oh glue monster with your bone folder of doom, oh various squeaks and creaks of mechanical devices, oh righteous indignation at others' mistreatment of books (ok so I'll never stop having that), but I will miss you, oh Jean-Jacques Rosseau book that I passed on my way to and from work, oh drawers of board and scraps, oh vats of glue, oh preservation lab. I will miss your inhabitants most of all, I think. Book conservation can happen anywhere with the right materials, but it is Andrea, Leah, Donna, and Thu who give this lab its laughter, its disgust at certain presidents we won't mention by name, its friendly conversations, its patience, its skill.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it all.

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