Monday, March 27, 2006

Tape Damage

for a larger image click here.

Last week the archives added a page on the preservation of cultural artifacts to the campus wiki for students enrolled in Art History here at SPSU. We also got a chance to speak to students on the subject, and lecturing on preservation topics gave us a chance to talk about some of the common challenges archivists face in every collection, like the challenge of preserving documents, artifacts, and books with tape damage. Both pictures on this week's post are samples of the many items in the collection we're currently processing that have sustained tape damage. As the pictures illustrate, even if the tape does manage to fall off over time, the adhesive leaves a permanent stain on the items.

Pressure sensitive tapes cause a lot of damage in libraries and archives, so if you tear a book, photograph, or other item, please don't use tape to fix the problem! Often libraries have trained staff that can repair the items properly, but repair time and materials can be costly, so they usually only work with items in their own collections. Tape damage is very difficult to fix, and often the damage can not be reversed.

When working with your collections at home, the Library of Congress has recommended that you "NEVER hinge pictures with pressure-sensitive tape...including masking tape, "invisible" tape, quick-release tape, cellophane tape, double-stick tape, and the so-called "archival" tapes." Even tapes sold as "archival" can cause permanent damage to family heirlooms. There are a lot of guides to caring for historical collections that are out there to help you preserve your family treasures. Be aware that the way we store and handle the physical reminders of the past affects how long those reminders will last.
for a larger image click here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March Progress Report on the Architectural Drawing Collection

for a larger image of this segregated doctor's office, click here.

Last month the archives ran statistics on the first 1,000 drawings arranged in the Gregson and Ellis Collection. Four weeks later we've now run statistics on our first 1,400 processed drawings, and some interesting data has begun to show up.

The current processed collections span the date range of 1946 to 1966. While racial segregation was a part of everyday life in Georgia during this time period, only 12 of the 119 buildings in our current sample specifically note segregation in their plans. When the architects were designing a building that was whites only, no mention of segregation was needed for the builders. Only when a building was intended for mixed-use or exclusively for non-whites was a mention of race made in the plans. Of the twelve buildings with racial notation, nine are medical facilities, two are educational facilities, and one is a special purpose building (a slaughterhouse in Milledgeville). While many of our commercial, residential, and religious structures in the collection were no doubt segregated as well, no notations exist on any of these types of drawings so far. Thus as statistics are drawn from the data, we can only confirm that approximately 10% of the structures were segregated. It will be up to students, researchers, and historians using the drawing collection in the future to tell us more about these buildings and their place in the history of building design and use.

for a larger image of this segregated hospital kitchen, click here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Preserving the History of a Profession

for a larger image, click here.

The drawings above and below this week's archive progress report are from a rare book in the Library's collection titled The Elements of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, published in 1898.

As we continue processing the Architectural Drawing Collection, our rare book collection reminds us that not only are we creating more research resources for our students, preserving important parts of Georgia's history, and caring for Special Collections, but we are also helping to preserve the history of the professions that created these documents.

for a larger image, click here.