Grant Project Description

Grant Project Work Flow

Project catalogers entered information from original catalog cards for the Anti-Slavery Collection into Cornell's online catalog, upgrading records with additional subject headings and copy-specific information. The 500 bound volumes of approximately 10,000 pamphlets were then sent to Preservation Technologies for mass deacidification. After cataloging and deacidification, pamphlets were sent to Cornell Library's Department of Preservation and Conservation, where conservators preserved the essential characteristics of the pamphlets by returning them to pamphlet form, with each pamphlet protected by a stable and sympathetic paper cover. The pamphlets were dry-cleaned, thoroughly washed to remove soluble acids and stains, alkalized, repaired, and, where necessary, resized. They were then repaired, resewn, and protected by a paper cover, and boxed. Brittle pamphlets were stabilized, encapsulated and post-bound to return them to a useable state.

Digitization occurred in tandem with conservation treatment in a manner that protects the originals while ensuring full capture of the text, illustrations, annotations, markings, and embossments. Optical character scan (OCR) and encoding, now provide full-text searching of the digital images.


At the start of the project, the 500 bound volumes of approximately 10,000 pamphlets were sent to Preservation Technologies for mass deacidification using Bookkeeper®, a patented process that neutralizes harmful acids by suspending the books in an inert liquid (a blend of non-toxic, fluorinated materials), and dispersing microscopic buffer materials (magnesium oxide).

The books are brought to the Conservation Unit to be disbound. The covers are removed and the pamphlets separated into their original single issue form.


The pamphlets are then scanned using a Xerox DocuImage 620S flatbed scanner.


After scanning, the pamphlets go through a post-scanning process. Part of this process includes quality control and "tagging," the process of indicating which images have particular characteristics users might be interested in, such as title page, table of contents, and illustrations. Any necessary re-scanning is done at this point.


The pamphlets are then brought back to the Conservation Unit for repair. Center sections are repaired, when needed, with a Japanese tissue strip to strengthen the inner fold for sewing.


Each pamphlet is then sewn into a new protective paper cover.


Each group of pamphlets that had comprised one volume is then housed in an appropriately sized box constructed in the Conservation Unit.


The finished pamphlets in their boxes are then returned to the Rare and Manuscripts Collections.

Continue to Other Online Resources