Home >> Binding & Collections Care

Services Provided by the Binding and Collections Care Division

library bound/vintage bindingThe Binding and Collections Care Division is responsible for the care of the Library's permanent research collections performing treatment on a large scale in a cost-effective manner. Responsibilities include:

There are two organizational units within the Binding and Collections Care Division: the Library Binding Section and the Collections Care Section. Binding and Collections Care staff work closely with other Library staff members, in particular with collections maintenance staff in the custodial divisions who identify retrospective collection materials in need of treatment as well as treating newly arrived materials.

Library Binding Section

binding prepThe Library Binding Section is responsible for providing binding and shelf preparation for the Library's collection of research materials and copyright deposits. Binding preparation includes binding services for newly cataloged, unbound monographic materials; for retrospective collections; and for unbound serial issues cumulated and processed by custodial divisions. Shelf preparation is the preparation of newly acquired, bound Library materials and includes actions such as call number labeling and property stamping.

waiting for shelvingThrough a collaborative effort between BCCD, Preservation Research and Testing, Automation Planning and Liaison Office and the Library's Cataloging Directorate, a variety of commercially available pressure-sensitive labels have been tested. The purpose was to develop label specifications for a range of applications: external call number labels, external barcode labels, and internal LCCN barcode labels. The identification of an appropriate label is difficult because the stock must be safe enough to be non-damaging, yet strong enough to remain permanently and securely in place. Testing was completed and suitable label stock identified. See the Specifications (700 series) for additional information.

BCCD staff work closely with the Serials and Government Publications Division to build a database of serials binding records using the LARS binding software.

Collections Care Section

Before the Collection Care Section was created in 1995, collection items were either given extensive conservation treatment or they were sent for commercial library binding where they were given a plain buckram cover and endsheets. In 1983, a Book Repair Unit was created within the Library Binding Section that was staffed by one full-time technician. Today, this program has expanded to provide a full range of treatment options for the preservation of the original and employs two conservators and four technicians.

Currently, the collections care program provides in-house treatment for items primarily found in the general and reference collections, and produces custom-fitted boxes for collections throughout the Library.

Treatments are performed in a production setting using a select range of often pre-cut preservation supplies and materials that meet preservation standards and are sympathetic to the object. These treatments include tip-ins, page mending, recasing, creating or mending covers, text-block consolidation or preservation copying for replacement of damaged or missing leaves. By having this capability in-house, CCS is able to return items for circulation and use in a timely manner while retaining significant artifactual and informational components.

Book treatment

book undergoing repairs

Pre-cut supplies bench

pre-cut supplies

Book in press

book in press

Customized protective enclosures are created through the use of automated box-making systems for collections throughout the Library. These boxes are most used because items are brittle or severely damaged. Boxes are also made for items due to their unusual structures (spiral bindings or children’s books in the shape of animals), accompanying materials (compact disks, or maps) or need for physical support and protection from the surrounding environment (such globes or wax cylinders).

Book measuring

book measuring

Automated box-making machine

box-making machine

Clamshell box, foam insert for CD

clamshell foam insert

Staff from the Collections Care Section serve as liaisons to the Library's custodial divisions, and when appropriate, work closely with the Conservation Division staff to provide a full set of options for preserving the collections.

Collections Care and Conservation Publications

Home >> Binding & Collections Care