Happy Birthday Mark Twain

Archives and Rare books, Mark Twain first editions, first printing, University of Cincinnati
Mark Twain first editions, first printing, Archives and Rare books, University of Cincinnati

Today, on the 176th birthday of one of the America’s most famous and mysterious authors of all time, we would like to talk to you about book preservation. Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, left numerous letters, writings, photographs and artifacts that are lovingly preserved in several collections around the country. We are fortunate enough to be located half an hour from Mark Twain’s amazing Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT.

Some of Mark Twain’s collections are being carefully and meticulously digitized. The Mark Twain Project and others, like his Childhood House and Museum Collection in Hannibal, Missouri, are dedicated to preserving priceless objects that used to belong to Twain and his family.

First Editions of Twain’s world-famous The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are extremely valuable and some are even signed. Storage and conservation of rare books needs to be done with extreme care. Antique tomes’ spines can become damaged from exposure to the elements, improper storage practices as well as regular wear-and-tear. Using Adjustable Rare Book Boxes will ease the pressure on the spine and the book can be well preserved while stored either horizontally or vertically. Ripped off spines can be reattached using Spine Repair Tape.
Pressure Sensitive Mending Tissue is perfect for repairing torn or brittle pages.

We have collected some wonderful resources to help you identify, care for and preserve the literary treasures you may possess. Please feel free to download these PDF files on Care And Security Of Rare Books, How To Care For Bound Archival Materials, and What Makes A Book Rare? and read a comprehensive article on Display and Storage of Books. University Products offers numerous products, tools and literature for Rare Book Conservation.

Silent film of Mark Twain at “Stormfield”, Redding, CT 1909 (by Thomas Edison), courtesy of Online Archives and University of Cincinnati:

Movie Poster Collecting

movie poster collectingAccording to the all-knowing Wikipedia, today, on November 28th in 1907, Louis B. Mayer (later on – the second “M” in the MGM motion picture studio conglomerate), opened his first movie theater in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

The movie business changed a lot since then, including the movie posters. In the times long before Facebook “like” buttons and endless TV commercials, posters were designed to intrigue vintage movie poster collecting and archival storagepotential customers and entice them to come and watch the new cinematic offering. Of course, they varied in quality and style, ranging from one-of-a-kind hand-pained masterpieces to kitschy colorful printed productions.  Movie poster collecting can be fun and rewarding, even if you don’t have any sentimental vintage movie poster collecting and archival storageattachment to the movies they represent. Vintage movie posters can benefit from being stored flat and protected by archivally safe enclosures and/or archival quality boxes. They can become fragile and brittle over time and some might require repair, using pressure sensitive Document Repair Tape, which is removable and gentle on paper.

You can learn more about movie posters and collecting them, as well as view some outstanding collections of vintage motion picture posters, lobby cards and rare photos online:
Movie Poster Collection at Library of Congress
Movie Posters and Prints at Collectors Weekly
WalterFilm Online Vintage Poster/Photo Museum

Great to see everyone at NEMA!

university products archival company booth at nemaIt was good to see all our neighboring museum professionals at the recent 93rd New England Museum Association annual meeting and conference held in Hartford. Our Ethafoam® cutting and shaping tools drew a great deal of interest from attendees, and they will be pleased to find out that we will soon be adding videos to our website that show these tools in use. Another favorite were the miniature bulk storage boxes we were handing out. They were created on our new custom box machine and were a very popular giveaway.
It was also a pleasure to meet Howayda Affan, the assistant curator at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, MA. Ms. Affan was kind enough to stop by our booth to thank University Products for sponsoring a scholarship so that she could attend the conference. She was among the over 800 museum professionals who attended the dozens of panels, workshops, and off-site events.
This is my 20th year exhibiting at the NEMA conference for University Products. It is my final show of the calendar year and always one of my favorites. I’m already looking forward to exhibiting at the NEMA conference next year in Burlington, VT.

 

New Equipment Acquisitions Lead to Expanded Custom Capabilities

University Products Archival Solutions Blog custom boxesUniversity Products has added several pieces of new equipment to its New England manufacturing facility. The new equipment expands the company’s ability to provide custom enclosures and increases the options available to its customers.

Zund G3
University Products Archival Solutions Blog zund g3 custom archival box cuttingThe recently installed Zund G3 Digital Cutter allows the company to produce prototypes and small runs of custom size (and shape) boxes, folders, envelopes, etc. without the need of costly dies. This computer controlled machine automates all cutting and trimming functions and works on all archival paper and boards including Perma/Dur e-flute and b-flute corrugated board (see our video below).


Boxboard Laminator

University Products also added a boxboard laminator. This new equipment provides the company with the ability to laminate paper, cloth and other materials to its archival quality boards, creating unique and decorative exteriors for custom boxes.

Metal Stay Box Machine
University Products has also replaced its metal stay box machine with new faster and more efficient equipment. They have increased productivity and expanded the colors and sizes of metal stays available, adding to the options available for custom boxes.

No longer do museums, libraries and archives need to sacrifice form for function. With University Products expanded manufacturing capabilities, the customer can get the quality acid-free enclosures the company has always provided, in the exact sizes and look they want.

University Products Curatorial Fellowship

university products archival company curatorial fellowship Howayda Abu AffanThe New England Museum Association will be holding its annual meeting in Hartford, CT this November. The Curators Professional Affinity Group, with support from University Products, provides a $300 stipend for individual members of NEMA and employees of NEMA institutional members to be used for a three-day conference registration. Any curator who has worked in the field five years or less, and works for an institution with an annual budget of $250,000 or less, is eligible for the award. This year the recipient of the award is Howayda Abu Affan, who graduated two years ago from the Harvard Extension School’s Masters Program in Museum Studies and is now Assistant Curator-Registrar of the Armenian Library and Museum of America located in Watertown, MA.

Looking Back at SAA Chicago

Chicago proved to be a great venue for the 75th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists (Archives 360). With its array of informative sessions, creative and colorful poster presentations, and a lively exhibit hall, it was hard to expect much more from Archives 360, but more there was. Attendees with time management skills could take advantage of the beautiful late summer weather the City of Big Shoulders provided with plenty to see and do.

university products archival solutions blog Tyrannosaurus rex chicago saa meetingThose who attended the reception at the Field Museum of Natural History were able to get a close-up look at Sue, the largest, most complete, best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered. In May 2000, the unveiling of her 67 million year old skeleton at the Field made global headlines. Since then, more than 16 million visitors have marveled over Chicago’s prehistoric giant. Archivists were treated to a wonderful dinner buffet while wandering the great hall and many exhibits.

Did anyone else take advantage of the wonderful Chicago Architectural Cruise down the Chicago River? Not only did we enjoy a one hour tour showcasing over 40 landmarks of modern American architecture, but we got to see the beautiful lighted skyline from Lake Michigan. The only regret was not going a day earlier when we could have been treated to fireworks! Hurricane Irene was busy battering the east coast while we basked in the warm Chicago sun. A good portion of attendees had flights changed or delayed when trying to get home. The lucky ones were stuck in Chicago for an extra day or two.