Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Preservation Housing and Stack Maintenance

Binding. Click to enlarge.

Photographs Vol. III was the personal photograph album of
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who is known to most of us as
Lewis Carroll. The album format and evidence of its use are
important to researchers. A new binding structure that
incorporates the original cover preserves Dodgson's work
in context. This album structure also allows the removal of
leaves, accommodating the exhibition of individual photographs.

The Preservation Housing Section of the Conservation Department produces custom designed boxes and enclosures for the Center's collections. Preservation housing projects range from the production of simple enclosures, such as polyester jackets and phase boxes for bound items, to more complex structures for multi-dimensional artifacts. As with the selection of items for conservation treatment, most of the Center's collection housing projects are determined by curatorial and administrative staff through the Ransom Center's annual priority designation process.

The section has two permanent staff members who train volunteers, student employees and other Ransom Center personnel in housing techniques. The section works in tandem with staff from the Stacks Maintenance Unit which, in addition to its responsibilities for all collection shifting and shelving construction, also supports the Center's housing programs. During the past two decades, the impact of the preservation housing programs on the collections has been impressive, with large portions of major collections now re-housed in acid free archival boxes and enclosures. The head of this section is also responsible for the purchase and management of all preservation housing and conservation supplies used throughout the Ransom Center.