Angels Project in Maine

This year, University Products supported the Costume Society of America’s (CSA) Angels Project in Maine. In years past, we have supported a Project in other states such as Maryland and Nevada.

The first  Angels Project occurred in 2006. Since then, they have taken place in varying locations, like the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C. and the American Alpine Club in Golden, Colorado. While working with local conservators, the goal of an Angels Project is to promote the understanding of the necessity of conservation and preservation while helping the local collections.

The CSA was founded in 1973. The original purpose was to increase the universal understanding of aspects of dress and appearance. The organization began to form regional groups in 1978, and has amassed six groups throughout the US and Canada, as well as one international group. Separate from the Angels Project, the CSA holds multiple events showcasing the costumes and other artifacts they have preserved.

This past year, the Angels supported the Lincoln County Historical Association (LCHA) in Wicasset, Maine. The LCHA was founded in 1954, and aims to “preserve and interpret the history of Lincoln County, Maine.” Included in this program are three museums, which feature a wide variety of items from textiles and costumes to maps and manuscripts. The Angels accomplished a great deal while working, and the provided a numerous amount of supplies and boxes to help the organization continue to flourish.

The LCHA Angels Project marks the CSA’s 12th Project. The Angels choose small museums to assist,  then go and help the museums get their clothing and textiles prepared to process into their collections. There are numerous steps involved in preparing the fabrics for preservation. The item must be photographed, then vacuumed, then receives an accession number and given identification. The final step is packing, using archival boxes.

Next year, the Angels will work with the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.  The organization they are assisting is the William and Mary Theatre Costume Study Collection, Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance.

University Products has donated archival storage supplies to Angels Projects in the past, and has continued to do so this year. Some such items are Unbuffered Interleaving Tissue, Archival Textile Storage Boxes, and Polyester Label Holders.

University Products is proud to support the CSA and the Angels Project and their conservation efforts.

Angels Project at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives

Once again the Costume Society of America is sponsoring an Angels Project on the day before its Annual Conference and this year the project will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, Ohio.  This small museum was founded in 1952, is located in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the Ukrainian culture and Immigrant experience.  The museum’s collection includes literature, recordings, photography, and artifacts in addition to approximately 200 to 300 un-housed and un-catalogued textile objects.

The Ukrainian Museum-Archives staff are in need not only of archival supplies, but hands on direction from Angel volunteers who donate their time, skills, and expertise to museums in need.  In May, the Angel Product participants will be vacuuming, photographing, labeling, documenting, and re-housing the costume and textile collection at the museum.

At the request of the Angels Project Committee, University Products has agreed to provide archival materials.  As in previous years, University Products is proud to help in these types of projects.  The company will be donating textile storage boxes, acid-free tissue, label holders, and Pigma pens.

Archival Three Ring Circus

University Products had a chance to meet new people and catch up with old friends at the Washington Conservation Guild Three Ring Circus earlier this month. On Thursday evening, January 7, conservators from throughout the D.C. area came together at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institution, 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW in Washington D. C.. The meeting is typically the largest of the year with over 100 attendees. Following a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 with vendors that included University Products, conservators had their choice of attending three different sessions. This year, the topics included conservators in social media, imaging and technology and BIG conservation. Representing University Products was John Dunphy, who showcased new magnifying and lighting products.

University Products Sponsors “Making Mannequins with Fosshape” Workshop

On November 17th and 18th the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted Fosshape Workshops sponsored by University Products, Inc. As part of the 2015 North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) the workshop allowed textile conservators from throughout the world to learn about and work with both Fosshape 300 and 600, donated by University Products. The workshop was led by Shelly Uhlir from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Her presentation showed how they had used Fosshape in numerous exhibits and allowed them to be able to easily, effectively, and accurately create mannequins for their museum. Once the presentation was completed, workshop participants spent the remaining time working with Fosshape. Three stations were set up to work with Fosshape to create torso, head, and hand mannequin pieces. The participants enjoyed the hands on time, allowing them to be both creative and learn how using Fosshape can be of use in their own museums and private practices. Participants were from countries including the U.S., U.K.. Sweden, Denmark, and Australia. All enjoyed learning about and working with Fosshape.
Making Mannequins with Fosshape

Textile Conservation Conference

logo NATCCUniversity Products will be exhibiting their products at Material in Motion, the 10th Biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) on November 19th and 20th, 2015 from 9 am – 4 pm.  It will be held in the kinetic city of New York. The Fashion Institute of Technology will be the site of two days of presentations and posters that will promote new technology and a deeper understanding of the critical issues facing textile conservators. The conference theme will be further explored through tours and training workshops.  Tours include: the newly renovated Costume Institute, the Department of Textile Conservation and the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; transdisciplinary artist Laura Anderson Barbata’s studio in Brooklyn; Penn and Fletcher, a custom embroidery workshop in Queens; and l’aviva home, a design studio in Soho.
Experts in the field are leading the workshops:
•“Aqueous Cleaning Methods” with Dr. Richard Wolbers, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Science, Art Conservation Program, University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum;
•“Basic Patternmaking for Costume Exhibition Dressing” with Tae Smith, free-lance textile conservator, professor at Parsons The New School for Design, New York, NY;
•“Advanced Fiber Identification” with Dr. Denyse Montegut, Professor and Chairperson of the graduate program in Fashion and Textile Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY;
•“Documentation Color Management Strategies” with Scott Geffert, Senior Imaging Systems Manager, Metropolitan Museum of Art Photograph Studio; and
Fosshape•“Making Mannequins with Fosshape” with Shelly Uhlir, Exhibits Specialist, Mountmaker in the Conservation Department at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
The NATCC was founded in 1994 as an international forum to share research, theory and practice in the field of textile conservation, and foster collaboration. Though the organization was conceived as a North American venture, it has attracted more global participants with each successive conference and is now an internationally recognized and respected forum for textile conservation. We received 90 abstracts from 25 countries for the 21 spots in this year’s program. We anticipate the largest number of participants to the conference will be from the United States, Mexico, Latin America and Europe.
All who attend bring what they learn from the conference back to their work at home. They find new methods to explore and/or discover suppliers with just the tool or material they need.

Tale of the Three Dresses

A wedding dress can serve as one of the most symbolic and treasured items of clothing in a woman’s closet. Throughout history, brides have long anticipated the occasion to wear exclusive fabrics and rich materials of a luminous color. Let’s be honest – wedding dress is designed to make every girl feel like a princess!

Specialist textile conservators at the Historic Royal Palaces recently completed a major project to conserve five iconic British royal wedding dresses. These wedding dresses are kept in carefully controlled storage conditions at Kensington Palace, enveloped in many layers of protective and supportive packaging materials. The silk satin wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria in 1840 is among one of the most popular dresses in the collection, as it set the trend of white wedding dresses for years to come. If you are seeking the royal treatment for your own special garment, we have some tips and products that will help you conserve your precious gown for years to come!

Unless you want to “trash” your wedding dress (for personal reasons), preserving it is much easier and more affordable than you think! Conserve your gown the way museum professionals do using all archival quality supplies from University Products.

What You Will Need:
• Clean gown. All additional pieces removed and stored separately.
Large textile box. Textile conservators prefer white poly box because it is lightweight yet sturdy, and won’t snag the fragile fabric.
White cotton gloves. Always wear gloves to handle something that can deteriorate from contact with human secretions (yes, even tiny amounts of natural oil that can hide in your fingers. Overtime the invisible “fingerprints” can turn into ugly stains and destroy delicate fabrics.
Unbuffered acid-free tissue paper. Put down a few layers on the bottom of the box, lower the dress, folding it in as few places as possible and place rolls of loosely crumpled tissue paper within the folds. Stuff the sleeves and the area between shoulders with similar “rolls” of tissue paper. Your dress will hold shape and won’t wrinkle from long term storage. Put some more tissue in the corners so the dress won’t move even if the box is being transported. Cover everything on top with a few more loose layers of tissue.
• Add a packet of Silica Gel Desiccant for some internal moisture control.
It is best to store the dress in the conditions that are comfortable for a human! No musty and cold basements or dry and hot attics. Drastic changes in humidity and/or temperature are very very bad for your dress. And our goal is to make it last as long as possible, right?

What NOT to do:
• Don’t try to preserve a dress that is dirty, soiled with sweat, dirt or food.
• Don’t encapsulate the dress in air-less container. Vacuum is not good for the fabric, it will start to deteriorate.
• Do not use boxes with clear windows. They might be pretty, but light will discolor part of the dress that is showing through and it will become different from the rest of the garment.
• Keep away from dust and mold.
• No basements and attics, high humidity or dryness, extreme heat or cold.

What You Should Do:
• Have the gown looked at by a textile preservation specialist or at least professionally dry-cleaned.
• All little rips/snags should be mended, loose threads tied up and hidden. All additional decorations (especially those with metal base) removed and stored separately.
• Obtain a large, acid-free textile box that will easily fit the dress and some tissue paper.
• Handle everything in gloves.

To illustrate this blog post, we used 3 generations of beautiful white dresses, courtesy of one of our treasured #TeamUPI members – Kim. They are her grandmother’s, mother’s and her own wedding gowns. All three were carefully preserved and sent home in archival textile boxes, padded with acid-free tissue paper.

Happy Flag Day!

According to all-knowing Wiki, in the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 and commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.


University Products’ Vice President and General Manager John Dunphy recently had the opportunity to visit Camille Breeze at the Museum Textile Services studio in Andover and took these snap shots. Read MTS’s blog to find out more about Solon Perkins Flag and Mary Baker Eddy Peace Flag projects.

Local Archival Delivery Mystery Solved!

legal document cases archival university productsOn Monday, April 20, University Products received a rush request from Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. They needed 35 legal size document cases, 200 legal size folders with reinforced tabs, and 65 spacers, and they needed them by Wednesday.  They had ordered it from another vendor last Thursday and had expected the shipment to arrive, but were told that it won’t arrive until Thursday. It was actually for an acquisition project going on in Leeds, Massachusetts.

We had everything in stock, and even offered to drive it to the destination to make the deadline.  The purchase order arrived Tuesday morning, and John Dunphy, University Products’ Vice President and General Manager set off to deliver the products that day.  He soon found himself in the country, in a residential area, and pulled into a driveway surrounded by a large number of sculptures.  It was then that it dawned on him that the person he was bringing the order to, Lisa Baskin, was the widow of famed artist Leonard Baskin.

Why was Duke University purchasing archival storage supplies and shipping them to a little town in Western Massachusetts?  Turns out, it acquired one of the largest and most significant private collections on women’s history!  Read more about Lisa Unger Baskin Collection: https://today.duke.edu/2015/04/baskinrelease

Focus On Book Arts

Focus on Books Arts ConferenceFocus on Book Arts has announced its biennial conference to be held June 24 – 28, 2015 at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.  This event is a gathering of beginner through experienced fine art bookmakers and creative individuals from other disciplines interested in the book arts.  The conference offers five days of workshops, several evening lectures, a trade show, an artists’ shop, and an accompanying faculty and staff exhibit.

The 12th biennial Focus On Book Arts Conference offers workshops that appeal to beginning as well as advanced book artists. Each class description outlines the skill level criteria, so you are able to easily determine which class suits you best. You can go for just one workshop or for the entire conference; a range of class lengths lets you tailor an experience just for you.
Black accordion bookThey have new offerings and popular repeats in both the faculty and workshops. You will find detailed information at www.focusonbookarts.org as well as information on housing and other conference activities. Many other events are held in conjunction with the conference, and you will want to check out The Artists’ Shop, the Trade Show, The Faculty/Staff Exhibit and more.

This year, there will be two presentations by well known book artists: Shu-Ju Wang is the Keynote speaker, and Hedi Kyle is meeting with the group for an informal address. They will be sharing their experiences, their work, and their wisdom; conference participants can attend both!

The 2015 conference also introduces a restructuring of the traditional scholarship offering to a work-study program that allows direct involvement in the conference experience to the recipients of funding. The group has named it the Colleen Cavin Fund in honor of a great artist and friend who was such an integral part of the book arts community and this conference.

 

Preserving the Time Capsule Contents

Images recently surfaced of items from a “time capsule” that was buried beneath the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House in 1795.  The items were originally placed there by Samuel Adams (then governor of Massachusetts) and Paul Revere.  The box was opened in 1855, cataloged, and reassembled with new materials added from that time period.

Among the contents were 23 coins, a medal decorated with the face of George Washington, and several period newspapers, along with a plaque describing the laying of the original cornerstone.  You can read more about it in this Slate article.

Historical significance aside, what we liked seeing were all these treasured displayed in various archival storage products.  The coins were laid out on Corrosion Intercept®, which protects metal artifacts by reacting with and neutralizing corrosive gasses and place inside Artifact Specimen Trays.  There were also a number of Artifact Storage Trays with Clear View Lids that allow you to view the contents while protecting them from dirt and dust.  Acid-free Folders and Tissue also were visible in the images.

It’s fitting then that in March, University Products will exhibit and be a sponsor at a joint meeting between the New England Archivist (NEA) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) in Boston!  Members of both NEA and MARAC have been working together diligently over the past year to bring you a fantastic three-day program that is diverse, interesting, and collaborative. There are sessions, workshops, repository tours, a Day of Service community volunteer day, and more.  And of course, there is the opportunity to network with members of the archival profession from two regional organizations.