You are here:  Home > Preserve for the future

Help us preserve these books!

Take pride in knowing that a piece of the Smithsonian Libraries will be preserved for the benefit of future generations. Adopt a Book was also established to provide extra resources to our conservation team who work tirelessly to prevent the onset of deterioration that threatens the life spans of our rare and priceless books.

Sort By:
1 2
The Westover manuscripts: Containing the history of the dividing line betwixt Virginia and North Carolina…now first published.
Amount: $200.00

The Westover manuscripts: Containing the history of the dividing line betwixt Virginia and North Carolina…now first published.

by William Byrd.  Petersburg, 1841.

In 1728, William Byrd II, a prominent Virginia planter and colonial official, was appointed to a commission to delineate the disputed border between Virginia and North Carolina.  His history, published for the first time over 100 years later in this work, gives an excellent description of the region, although his possibly biased characterization of North Carolinians emphasizes their indolence, lack of religion, poverty, and disrespect for law and order.

Condition and Treatment:  Quarter-bound in original pink paper over boards with a brown cloth spine.  The spine cover is missing and the lining is partially worn away, exposing the sewing structure to abrasion and wear.  Re-back the spine using airplane linen toned to compliment the original cloth color. 

F229 .B968 1841 SCNHRB
Pamphlet bindings
Amount: $250.00

Hundreds of small publications transferred from the general collections, including Linnaean dissertations and a botanical manuscript with hand-drawn and -colored illustrations, are taped or glued into old acidic “pamphlet” folders that need to be replaced.

Condition and treatment:  Conservators will remove the publications from the acidic folders, dry-clean the pages and wash them in de-ionized water buffered with calcium carbonate (pH7), re-sew the publication with an acid-free paper wrapper, and make a custom-fitted, four-flap enclosure for it.
Directions for making collections in natural history, prepared for the National Institute for the Promotion of Science.
Amount: $250.00

Directions for making collections in natural history, prepared for the National Institute for the Promotion of Science.
 
by Henry King. Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1840.
 
This slim pamphlet, prepared for a short-lived organization that preceded the founding of the Smithsonian Institution, is one of a numerous collection of early instructions for collecting specimens of plants and animals.  These publications reflect the growing recognition of the importance of proper preservation techniques and record-keeping for natural-history collections, as private collections evolved into public museums through the 19th century.
 
Condition and treatment: Conservators will remove the publication from the acidic folder, dry-clean the pages and wash them in de-ionized water buffered with calcium carbonate (pH7), re-sew the publication with an acid-free paper wrapper, and make a custom-fitted, four-flap enclosure for it.
Die Vorrichtungskunst der Werkstühle : für die gesammte Seiden- und Wollen-Manufactur.
Amount: $250.00

by Johann Georg Bartsch, Lehrer der Manufactur in Wien, 1832. [Vienna] : Lithogr.u.gedr.bei Al. Leykum am Neubau ..., [1832] f NK8898 .B29A1 CHMRB
(Instructions and devices of the art factory chairs: for the whole silk-and wool-manufacturer.)
 
Two volume bound set of textile designs with woven or printed samples. The Cooper-Hewitt Design Library has in its collections many pattern and sample books and periodicals that contain actual textile swatches, a most valuable research tool for learning about weaves and textures. These 2 volumes contain 56 leaves of plates, some with mounted fabric samples. Extra illustration: 3 portions of plates dealing with fabric design, hand-colored and loosely inserted.
 
 
Condition and treatment: Two bound volumes with illustrated plates and mounted fabric samples. Some wear to book covers, sewing intact. Treatment will include replacing stained and creased interleaving with unbuffered tissue and creating a custom drop-spine box with compartments to hold each volume.
[Botanical dissertations]. 16 separate items.
Amount: $250.00

[Botanical dissertations].  14 separate items.

by Carl Peter Thunberg.  Uppsala, 1781-1828.

In 18th- and 19th-century Europe, it was standard practice for university professors to write their students’ dissertations; the student’s job was to explicate and defend the thesis.  At the University of Uppsala (Sweden), first Linnaeus and then Thunberg wrote hundreds of these botanical papers, usually focused on taxonomic and systematic matters – either describing and naming genera and species or analyzing basic issues of classification.  The Cullman Library holds dozens of the small, individually published papers, many of them housed in old acidic pamphlet-binders.

Condition and Treatment:  No covers; variously stab-sewn and/or glued into old acidic pamphlet binders.  Remove from the binders, wash as needed, and create a new binding for each item using Cave Paper (O.Malley Crackle as the color).

QK495 [… various] SCNHRB

Insectes diptères du nord de la France.
Amount: $300.00

Insectes diptères du nord de la France.

by Justin Macquart.  Lille, 1826-1834.

Based in Lille in northern France, Macquart was one of three brothers who all became naturalists in the early 1800's – one an ornithologist, one a botanist, and Justin an entomologist who specialized in Diptera (flies).  As a contributor the Suites à Buffon and in his independent works, Macquart named thousands of new species of flies, and his publications are an important source for current research in the Department of Entomology at the National Museum of Natural History.

Condition and Treatment:  Modern brown buckram case, with marbled end-papers; the text-block is over-sewn (also modern) but sound.  The binding has deteriorated to the point that the case is almost completely detached from the text-block, held by a single sewing cord; the front fly-leaves and half-title page are also detached, and there are general signs of wear.  Remove the buckram covers; re-attach the title leaves with Japanese paper and create a new linen case for the volume with new archival end papers.

QL535.4 .F8M17 SCNHRB
Six discourses delivered by John Pringle … when president of the Royal Society …; to which is prefixed the life of the author.
Amount: $350.00

by Sir John Pringle. London: Printed for W. Strahan, and T. Cadell, 1783.
 
These six discourses, which were presented “on occasion of six annual assignments of Sir Godfrey Copley’s medal,” discussed a great variety of subjects, including “different kinds of air,” the torpedo, and the preservation of the health of mariners.
 
Condition and treatment: This volume has a full leather binding with decorative gold stamping on the covers and spine. Leather is missing from the front and back cover joints and both are loose. The joints needs to be reinforced, and - after lifting the leather- they need to be covered with toned Japanese paper.
Der Weltkrieg
Amount: $400.00

by Cigaretten-Bilderdienst, G.m.b.H. Dresden: Cigaretten-Bilderdienst A 1, [1937?].

This cigarette card collector's book was produced and compiled in Germany in the late 1930’s as a commemoration of World War I, providing a visual record of scenes both on the front and at home. The war theme was popular in the 1930's and was later used for propaganda purposes during the growth of Nazism. 

Condition and Treatment: 
The book has a paper-bound album style binding, and the front cover and spine cover are damaged. Cigarette cards (small-format photo-mechanical prints, collected from cigarette packs) are mounted with adhesive on acidic paper, and many are detached and loose. The loss to the cover will be repaired, the cigarette cards reattached, and the protective tissue paper interleaving throughout the book will be replaced.
The botany of Captain Beechey's voyage… to the Pacific and Bering's Strait, performed in His Majesty's ship Blossom... in the years 1825, 26, 27, and 28.
Amount: $500.00

The botany of Captain Beechey's voyage… to the Pacific and Bering's Strait, performed in His Majesty's ship Blossom... in the years 1825, 26, 27, and 28.

by Sir William Jackson Hooker and G.A. Walker Arnott.  London, [1830]-1841.

Beechey’s voyage in HMS Blossom was intended to meet up with two overland expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage to the Pacific.  Neither arrived, but Beechey made good use of the trip by conducting extensive scientific explorations along the northwest and west coasts of North America (reaching and naming Point Barrow, for example) and among the islands of the Pacific.  The botanical collections were described in this book by Sir William J. Hooker, a British botanist who subsequently became the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and his co-author George A.Walker Arnott.   The volume includes 99 beautifully line-engraved plates.

Condition and treatment:  The volume has been re-bound in library-buckram; it suffered water damage at some point in its past and now shows cockling, staining, and mold damage throughout.  Conservators will remove surface mold with a HEPA-filter vacuum.  Conditions in the environmentally controlled vault will prevent future mold outbreaks.
Nimm mich mit! : Ein lehrreiches Bilderbuch
Amount: $500.00

A visual dictionary of everyday objects including geometric shapes, kitchen utensils, clothing, plants, animals, people at work, and house interiors. The colorful drawings greatly appealed to young readers and are typical of Meggendorfer’s work.
Condition and Treatment: Textblock is detached and broken. Loose pages. Disbind, dry clean leaves. Re-sew textblock and re-line spine with Japanese paper. Reattach to case. Create enclosure for safe shelving.
Wand und Tapete : ein Dekorations - Werk
Amount: $600.00

Wand und Tapete : ein Dekorations - Werk. Wallpaper catalog from Tapetenfabrik Coswig, Dresden c. 1920
La cavalerie françoise et italienne…
Amount: $1,200.00

Cavalerie françoise et italienne - Treatise on the training of horses from French and Italian Schools in the Cooper-Hewitt Library.
Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables…
Amount: $1,500.00

Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables…
 
by Pierre Belon. Paris, 1554.
 
This work is the narrative of a French naturalist’s travels in the Middle East in the 16th century, presenting to Western eyes the earliest illustrations of a giraffe and other wonders; the original vellum cover on our copy, now very dry and stiff, is a “re-cycled” Arabic manuscript. The pages of this important work will need to be specially cleaned and flattened, and the broken binding re-sewn, using materials and methods appropriate to the book’s period, to reduce stress on the structure.
Chemistry and Physics Experiments
Amount: $1,500.00

by John William Draper. Manuscript journal, 1836-1842.
 
John William Draper (1811-1882) was an important American scientist who did pioneering work in photochemistry in the early days of photography. In this journal, he documents the many experiments in early photographic processes, chemistry and electricity, which he conducted while teaching at Hampden-Sydney College in Virgina and at New York University.
 
Condition and treatment: The pasteboard covers of the journal are weak and damaged and need to be repaired and strengthened. The leather covering on the spine has deteriorated, and needs to be replaced. The pages are only loosely held together and will need to be disbound and re-sewn. A custom-made box must be constructed to protect the volume from further damage.
Zeichen - Mahler und Stickerbuch . . .
Amount: $2,000.00

This self-study instruction book on drawing, painting, and embroidery for women, this folio contains hundreds of designs both in color and black and white that can be traced and copied in creating floral embroidery designs.
Condition and Treatment: Spine covering and first section of textblock detached. Sewing broken, some pages loose. Overall dirt and discoloration. reatment: Disbind, dry clean. Repair tears with Japanese paper. Humidify and flatten leaves. Guard sections and re-sew textblock. Reback and recase in original binding.
   
 
1 2