In October, I excitedly accepted dozens of posters from the Gertrude Hoffman Collection. These turn of the last century posters were wonderful and also brittle after being folded inside a trunk for many years. I’ve finally seen a light at the end of this tunnel and delivered 4 encapsulated posters to the closed stacks today. This leaves 3 posters to finish-all are large and brittle. All three of these posters will be handled differently by encapsulation, Japanese paper backing or a simple paper repair. It’s been exciting to work on these posters that are all close to 100 years old. It will be equally exciting to send them back to Special Collections storage preserved and in a condition to be described and actually used.
We’ve unearthed over 20 scrapbooks from the Clarence Herbert New Collection. These scrapbooks are from trips Mr. New took from 1890-1926 as he vacationed in Maine and around the world. Many of the scrapbooks also have his collections of cartoons, theater programs and newspaper articles he liked. He was very organized and even typed up a Table of Contents for each scrapbook. These scrapbooks are in various states of deterioration as they are 100 years old! I decided to repairs as many as I could. The photo above shows step 1 where I glued-out the text-block to strengthen it. Following this, I created new spines from book-cloth and glued the new spine to the scrapbook.
Any loose items in each scrapbook were placed into archival envelopes.
Once the new spines were dry, I applied Klucel G- a leather consolidant to the covers and the scrapbooks were ready to be used by researchers.
I have gone through every folded poster in the Hoffman collection. There are numerous duplicates, but many really nice surprises. The majority of the posters were from engagements in France by “The Hoffman Girls.” Almost none of the posters have a year (with the exception of one 1911 and one 1934).
A newly unfolded poster found today is 42″ x 6′ and features Vaudeville performers that will seem racially insensitive today. This poster is of a production by Gertrude’s husband, Max Hoffman.
I unfolded one of the Hoffman posters this afternoon-wow! It was in 4 parts and takes up my entire office floor! This will be a preservation feat!
Gertrude Hoffman (1880-1955) was a well known dancer and choreographer, who was actually arrested for indecency in 1909 after dancing Salome in New York City. She danced on Broadway and in a variety of Vaudeville shows. Hoffman later developed her own troupe called The Hoffman Girls.
The ever flexible and trustworthy Brittany Newberry has been encapsulating photos. This is a process of sandwiching an flat item between two pieces of mylar. This allows patrons to see these images and not damage them or get them dirty. These Baptist Youth Convention photos are all from the 1920’s and 1930’s and were taken in North Carolina. Audra Yun dug them up from the inexhaustible treasure trove of Special Collections!
We have a new exhibit! We’ve all collaborated together to move the exhibit cabinet from the Archives Reading Room to the area across from Circulation. I’ve placed a sign in it saying it is our “Cabinet of Curiosities.” This will be a great location to highlight aspects of our collections and draw students and faculty into our “special collections.”
On October 19, there will be a symposium in the Special Collections Reading Room called “Vorticism: New Perspectives.” Speakers from Wake Forest and Duke will speak about this art movement.
Mark Antliff, Duke
John Curley and Morna O’Neill, WFU Art Department
Scott Klein, WFU English Deptartment
The symposium will be held from 4:30-6 pm.
My Preservation students perform much of the work my area. This work involves repairing damaged books and making protective enclosures. The students who work in Preservation spend many hours learning and perfecting each technique. There is a learning curve (and sometimes a measuring curve!) for each technique.
I thought I’d post a few photographs of my students at work.
Josh Wheeler toning Japanese paper with Dr. Martin’s Watercolors to match the color of the leather. We have toned Japanese paper, but the color is only close to the actual color of the leather. Using a chart I made, you can match most paper and Dr. Martin’s watercolor to any leather color.
Beili Li constructing a four-flap protective enclosure from archival bristol. This activity involves measuring theitem to be enclosed, then calculating, measuring and scoring a piece of bristol
board to wrap around it securely. The scoring is done by hand using a hand-held scoring tool.
Brittany Newberry making an archival box from archival board. This activity involves measuring the item to be enclosed, then calculating, measuring and scoring a piece of archival board
board to wrap around it securely. this board is thick and must be scored using a scoring machine and cut on the large board shear.