Encapsulating a document using an ultrasonic welder.
In order to preserve and maintain its diverse collection of historical materials, the ALPL has an in-house laboratory equipped to provide a wide variety of conservation treatments for printed, manuscript, and photographic items.
Conservation treatments undertaken in this laboratory include: cleaning, removal of tape and other components harmful to the condition of the item (rusty staples, paperclips, acidic linings/mounts, acidic adhesives), deacidification (a chemical treatment that neutralizes acids present in paper), repairs (to paper, book pages, book bindings, book covers, etc.), bookbinding (new or rebinding), matting, encapsulation, and making protective enclosures (boxes, pamphlet binders, folders, custom designed enclosures). Besides treating books, documents, and other paper-based materials, conservation staff also occasionally have been called upon to address the conservation needs of textiles, paintings, and objects. Treatments are aimed at stabilizing historical materials removing agents of deterioration and/or making items accessible for use.
Other responsibilities of the Conservation Department include answering questions from the public and other institutions about preservation of historical materials, monitoring the environmental conditions in which the library's collections are kept, and assisting in the preparation of items for loan or exhibit (performing any necessary treatments, providing advice on appropriate mounts).
Please note that Laboratory staff cannot take commissions for conservation treatment of privately owned items. However, we can provide advice on sources for conservation treatment services.
Contact information for the Conservation Laboratory:
Historical Documents Conservator