Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2015 Issue

$1.3 Million Book Preservation Lab to be Built at the University of Washington

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Architect Schacht/Aslani's plans for the book preservation lab.

In an era when it seems too often we hear about libraries needing to sell off rare material as they can no longer afford to maintain it, an announcement from the University of Washington is most welcome news. The university is making a substantial investment in building facilities to provide proper conservation of rare books, manuscripts, maps and drawings. Many libraries have participated in digitization programs to preserve underlying text and make it more readily available worldwide. It is of enormous importance to learning and scholarship, but it is not everything. Virtual reality has its place, but so does real reality. A plaster cast of the Venus de Milo is nice, but it isn't the original. What the University of Washington is planning to do is critical to the maintenance of our history and culture, as it allows them to preserve the original material.

 

The university recently put out bids to renovate space on the fifth floor of the Suzzallo Library in Seattle. The space involved is substantial – 4,728 square feet. It includes maintaining all facilities found in the current mendery plus numerous new functions (for those unfamiliar with the term “mendery,” it is a place where books are repaired). There will also be a new conference room and office added. The new facilities will enable the university to repair books with more complex issues that previously had to be sent to outside conservators. The space to be converted currently consists of a storage area and some offices.

 

The university has estimated the cost to be $1.2 - $1.3 million, an indication of their seriousness in preserving their rare books.

 

Construction is planned to begin during the summer.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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