Preservation Tip: Dealing With Insect Damage

Author: Scott Gampfer, Associate Vice President for Collections and Preservation Insects are attracted to materials containing cellulose. Paper-based collections (documents, books, newspapers) contain cellulose and need to be protected from insect attack. Storing collections in cool dry spaces is preferable because there is a link between higher temperature and relative humidity, and increased insect activity. Years ago, the library received a donation of bound newspapers including this volume from the 1830s. One of the volumes exhibited evidence of insect damage on the outside front cover (see image 1 below). Portions of the decorative covering paper were abraded and the lower right-hand corner bore telltale insect holes. When the volume was opened, this is the sight that greeted the librarians (see image 2). It turns out that the volumes had been stored on shelving against a basement or garage wall and termites had been able […]

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A 19th-Century Cincinnati-Manufactured Picture Exhibitor

Author: Scott Gampfer, Associate Vice President for Collections and Preservation Introduced to the United States from Europe in the late 1850s, the carte-de-visite or calling card photographic format soon became wildly popular. The small size and inexpensive nature of the card images brought them within reach of ordinary people. Since the images were printed from a glass plate negative, it was possible for customers to get as many copies of an image as desired. It also became popular to collect carte-de-visite images of celebrities and exotic or famous locales. So popular was demand for carte-de-visite images that the phenomenon was sometimes called “cartomania.” The idea of creating photographic albums also became popular, and suppliers sold albums specifically designed to hold cartes-de-visite. One inventor, Charles Robinson of Massachusetts, received a patent in April 1865 for a clever device that allowed the viewing of dozens of […]

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Egypt’s Most-Searched Questions

Museums answer questions. But who’s asking? One place that’s full of questions is Google. In Most-Searched Questions, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to answer some of the most interesting questions the world has ever asked Google.

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A Museum Without Walls: Technical Aspects

Author: Anne Kling, Manager, Collections Databases In an earlier post, we announced the sharing of over 60,000 of Museum Center’s Invertebrate Paleontology records to the global iDigBio website and explained how this benefits the scientific community. But, how does this actually happen? What steps are involved to place our records on an international research platform? First, our Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology, Dr. Brenda Hunda, and several volunteers and interns completed the cataloging and georeferencing of thousands of IP specimens. Georeferencing is the process of assigning geographic coordinates based on the collection locality. Once we were satisfied with the content and quality of the IP records in our EMu database system that we wanted to submit to iDigBio, we needed to map (or match) our fields to the fields used by iDigBio. Many organizations that deal with biological research, like iDigBio, use the Darwin Core […]

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