In 1994 the Dartmouth College Libraries Preservation Committee undertook a project to train a core group of staff in simple book repair of general collections materials.

Simple book repair was defined as those repairs meeting the following criteria: the repair could be completed in a relatively short period of time, required a relatively low level of conservation skill and experience, and could be accomplished with available tools and supplies. From that project grew a training manual outlining procedures and repair methods.

Additionally, the manual highlighted the importance of using the correct supplies and equipment, and referred users to additional book conservation sources. While the manual has been deemed very useful to the staff, it lacks good visual examples of damaged materials, illustrative step-by-step repair procedures, and must be updated and re-distributed regularly. The Preservation Committee decided a more individualized and widely accessible approach to book repair training was needed. Thus the idea of a multimedia web page that could be easily accessible off site.

In 1995 two independent events occurred, one of which had a great impact on the other. The Collection Services Division in Dartmouth College Library re-organized and the college’s first Preservation Services Department was created along with selection of a Preservation Services Librarian to direct and coordinate preservation activities within the Library. Concurrent to the organizational shift the Preservation Committee was awarded a grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) to convert the Dartmouth College Libraries Preservation Committee’s Simple Book Repair training manual to a multimedia training tool accessible on Dartmouth’s world wide web home page. The grant application was written and submitted before the reorganization and was awarded shortly before I began as the new Preservation Services Librarian. It would be my responsibility to serve as the grant’s Principal Investigator and project manager.

With the creation of the new position and re-organization of staff fundamental assumptions that underpinned the grant application had changed. This along with other factors would influence the plan of work and timely completion.

Related Products: 1995-02 A Simple Book Repair Manual