Housings and Protective Enclosures

The Preservation Department provides a variety of housings and protective enclosure solutions for all library and archives collections.  We can exercise a wide range of options to meet the needs of the items, scale of a project, budget, and other factors.  Housings are created in our conservation laboratories as well as purchased from outside vendors, both pre-fabricated in standard sizes and custom-fitted. 

The most common reasons for creating enclosures are:

For general collections

  • Fragile, brittle, and/or deteriorated items that are not candidates for reformatting and for which repair or treatment is not advantageous or possible
  • Items that consist of multiple parts with a single call number for which commercial binding is not suitable
  • To make thin, soft cover materials (e.g. pamphlets) sturdier for shelving and use
  • To protect books moved to a new location or LSF

For special collections

  • To reduce the negative effects of relative humidity changes on sensitive materials like parchment and vellum bindings
  • To reduce handling risks for individual flat objects such as art-work, prints, photographs, and fragile documents
  • To protect adjacent books from edge clasps and other decorations
  • To protect unique or decorative bindings
  • To address shelving and issues for non-book collection objects

Protective housings and enclosure workflows exist in all of the Department’s units, consult our Quick Reference – Preservation Workflow Chart for directing your questions or work requests.

For information about the different types of enclosures used for library materials see our illustrated housing/enclosure reference chart.

Last modified: 
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 2:56pm