Don't Rock the Cradle Symposium: Books in Exhibitions—Mounts, Materials, and Economy (2015)

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The Folger Shakespeare Library's Werner Gundersheimer Conservation Department organized a three-day symposium from April 1 to April 3, 2015 on books in exhibitions focusing on book cradles and book supports.

See photo gallery from the symposium.

This symposium was offered in collaboration with Hanka Gerhold, paper conservator at the “Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz,” Germany and Michaela Brand, book conservator at the “Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum,” Berlin, Germany, following up on their successful symposium on this topic “In die Wiege gelegt” held in Berlin in 2013. As that symposium was offered in German only, this symposium was a unique opportunity to discuss books in exhibitions and their supports.

The symposium discussed the various types of available book cradles and book supports, both generic and custom-made, as well as the wide variety of techniques employed by different institutions to custom-build them.

The main issues discussed in this symposium were:

  • How to safely display an opened book
  • What angle of presentation is the best compromise between exhibition and preservation
  • What types of supports or designs are available to display a book
  • Is the cradle intended to be a purely structural support or is it part of the visual design of the case and exhibition
  • What materials are safe, cost effective, and sustainable