In this week’s blog we bring you another edition of our volunteer voice, this time from Valentina de Riso, who volunteers in the conservation studio every week….
Valentina in the conservation studio
What is your name?
I’m Valentina de Riso.
Where are you from?
I’m from Italy and I’ve come to Scotland to study for an MSc in Comparative Literature at the University of Edinburgh.
What do you do when you are not volunteering?
I am a book lover and I have a passion for literature. When I’m not volunteering I love reading, writing short-stories and exploring the city of Edinburgh. I am also keen on old and used books, so I often happen to be in some second-hand bookshop, sniffing between pages and looking for rare books!
Our Projects Conservator, Nicole, describes a technique for repairing books that have broken in half in this week’s blog…
I have now moved full time to the conservation studio at the main library and I have started working on the Latin thesis from 1726 – 1826 which contain a number of PhD thesis in one leather binding.
The majority of this collection is in good condition with just under half needing conservation treatment before digitisation, mostly quick treatments such as being board reattachment. A small number of volumes have been rebound with a hollow and using book cloth which makes them more accessible and easier to be digitised. However, 46 volumes have broken sewing resulting in the text block breaking in half or in some cases three or four separate pieces. This has been caused by repeated use, and forcing the volumes open.
An example of a Latin thesis broken in half, before conservation
This week’s blog comes from Helen Baguley, the newest member of the conservation team…
I have been recently employed by the University of Edinburgh on a 12-month contract as a Projects Conservator. This exciting and varied role means I am predominantly located in the University Collections Facility (UCF), and off-site storage building in South Gyle. I will be working within the rationalisation project, looking at the collections which are currently housed there, such as rare books and university archives. I will also be assisting the musical instrument conservator and art department in their work. This will consist of carrying out conservation work and supervising volunteers under the direction of the Preventive Conservator, Katharine Richardson.
Collection items on a shelf at the University Collection Facility