On April 24, NARA conservators join other conservation and preservation professionals at Preservation Matters! Smithsonian Libraries hosts this event for National Preservation Week at the S. Dillon Ripley Center on the Mall. NARA’s conservators are available from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m to give information on responding to a water emergency such as a flood or broken pipe. Come by to pick up literature or ask questions!
Great News for Earth Day This Year!
The city of Paris chose the low carbon footprint of 4 municipal sheep to keep city lawns trimmed. Ewes from Brittany have taken up big city life, chomping happily at the Paris Municipal Archives. The Tuileries Gardens went the private route with 2 goats tending the lawns. Natural fertilizer results that probably keeps people off the grass too. Can NARA go this green?
Why did George Washington draw this little hand?
From medieval times to the present, the symbol above has been used to direct attention to important passages of text. This mark is called a manicule (from the Latin root ‘manus’, meaining ‘hand’). This manicule was drawn by George Washington while he was annotating the first draft of the US Constitution on August 6, 1787. ARC Identifier: 1501555
On April 13, 1976 the copperplate by engraver William Stone of the Declaration of Independence traveled to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Master printer Angelo LoVecchio cleaned the copperplate, inked it and pulled a half dozen impressions. This photo of LoVecchio at work shows that printing is little changed since the Renaissance. RG64-PF-4/11/76-A 7 ARC 6922201 to 6922242. Read about William Stone prints in Prologue Magazine here: www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2012/summer/stone.html
Senior paper conservator, Anne Witty, works on records from NARA’s Field Offices across the U.S. The records may need treatment for a variety of reasons, including researcher access, exhibits and loans, or to prepare records for digitization. The Field Offices hold an amazing range of records and Anne has treated presidential pardons, Titanic records, lighthouse drawings, a Charlie Chaplin poster, and maps of the Sutter Ranch (of Gold Rush fame), just to name a few. Check out images of a Sutter Ranch map during treatment and a few of Anne’s favorite tools.
The National Archives at Saint Louis, in collaboration with the Saint Louis Preservation Program, opened its newest exhibition featuring some of America’s most memorable photographic images. “Through America’s Lens: Focusing on the Greatest Generation, 1920-1945,” features a mixture of iconic photographs and textual documents from the Federal personnel file of some of America’s most prolific photographers and artists. The exhibit opened Monday, March 11, 2013 and runs through Friday, September 27, 2013. It is open to the public Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. In conjunction with the exhibit is an exhibit lecture series. For further information on lectures, please visit http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/Through-Americas-Lens.pdf
Edible Book Festival!
April 1, 2013 some Preservation staff used their lunch break to celebrate an Edible Book Festival. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_Book_Festival) Attendees judged entries in the categories of: Punniest, Edible book I’d like to take to a desert island, and Tastiest. All entries were made at home with personal materials. No books were harmed in this competition.
Take a Peep into the Conservation Lab!
More images here: http://www.katherineswiftkelly.com/peeps/peeps.html
Government Printing Office Visit
Senior Conservator Jana Dambrogio was invited to the bindery of the Government Printing Office (GPO) to capture impressions of their early brass decorative finishing tools. Dambrogio documented over 379 tools (69 brass rolls and over 310 stamps, gouges, and fillets) used by the bindery since before the civil war to the present day. Many of the tool’s marks are found on hand-made bindings that were fabricated by the GPO bindery for many federal agencies. These bindings have been subsequently deposited in the holdings of the National Archives.