Loose material in books

Revision as of 16:26, 14 March 2014 by DeborahLeslie (talk | contribs) (→‎Items laid in: General editing)

Loose materials are sometimes found in bound collection materials. Current Folger policy for vault items favors keeping anything relating to the history, readership, or use of materials with the materials themselves, making reasonable accommodation against damage. This article contains policy and procedures for dealing with things found in books.

Staff procedures

General procedures

  • Make a copy note describing what is laid in, attached, or affixed, and where.
  • Insert an attention flag, giving summary of same information
  • For publisher's advertisements and other material that carries no information about provenance or readership, remove to curatorial file and make a brief descriptive note
    • generally no need to give location within the item
    • only save one when there are multiple identical ones in a single work
  • When in doubt, especially when a lot of work would be involved, consult supervisor first

Items laid in (loose material)

  • Keep laid-in material where it is found as long as it doesn't put stress on the binding
  • In the copy note, describe what is laid in and where
  • Write shelfmark and location found on the item itself, using standard procedures for writing on collection materials
  • If laid-in item is very acidic (for example, newspaper clippings) or otherwise may damage the rare material, and if appropriate, fold buffered paper around it and keep it in place

Items attached or affixed

  • Leave in place unless damage is actively occurring
  • Insert buffered paper or ask conservation to mount Japanese paper to protect from metal pins or other rusty things, acidic paper, etc.

Laid-in items removed to curatorial file or case file

  • Mailing labels, booksellers' descriptions, and the like dealing with Folger Library purchase of books can be removed to the curatorial file. If it relates to Mr. and Mrs. Folger's purchase, remove to case file instead (filed by case number; if there isn't a file for that case number yet, start one; if the case number is unknown, remove to curatorial file.)
  • Make copy note describing what has been removed


  • Notify the curator of manuscripts about any letters found *In case of doubt* ask curator. This should be done routinely as we are getting used to this new policy.

Pests and Mold

  • Refer to the conservation lab's [[%PUBURL%/Main/CentralLibrary/ConsMain/Packing_guidelines_moldy_mat.pdf][Guidelines when packing material for the Folger collection]] for information concerning pest and mold identification.

If an item has become part of the content, such as a contemporary ms. note concerning the text pinned within the book, extraneous materials should be left with the book, and described in the copy-specific note as to location within the book, as well as an idea of content

The following should be removed:

  • accession/acquisition-based items, such as bookseller descriptions or shipping labels
  • organic materials which might prove detrimental to the book, such as flowers, leaves, etc.
  • When in doubt as to the potential harmful nature of leaving an item within the book, consult curator(s) and/or conservators for an opinion. If it is determined that the item should be removed, it is to be sent to the Curatorial File, noting location within book and shelf-mark, etc.