Due to the fragile nature of the contents of Special Collections, we must ask that food and drink must never be consumed in Zibby Garnett.
Unfortunately, this must include drinking water to remove any risk of damage to the collections.
Please use the ground floor of the Library, or nearby cafes, to consume refreshments.
A special collection is held separately from the main collection to maintain its integrity, for reference only. Material must be handled and read with particular care and under supervision.
Careful handling can prevent unnecessary damage to the structure of the book, firstly by removing it gently, never putting your finger on the top of the spine and pulling it towards you.
A member of staff will be available to assist.
Image: The Cathedral Librarian, Julie Taylor, holding MS 247 14th century psalter
Image: An example of book damage caused by repeated mishandling
Pencils only must be used in Special Collections, as any ink residue can obscure text. Use acid- and lignin-free paper as a temporary bookmark, never leave inserts especially post-it notes inside special collections, as the latter causes lasting damage with sticky residues.
Loose boards and dilapidated spines can be secured with archival tape, tied top and bottom for stability and tied behind the text block (page not spine side) with a knot tied right over left so it follows the direction of the spine, as shown in the image to the right.
Where the volume is very dilapidated a phase box can be made. Conservation students made the ones in the image below right.
Image: Old book with loose boards and dilapidated spine secured with archival tape tied at the top and bottom for stability and lying on a book cushion for support
Image: Spines of the Cornhill Magazine from 1898-99 showing varying states of disrepair.
Image: Spines of the Cornhill Magazine vol. 46-47, 49-51 1919-1921 after taping and phase box attention by Conservation students.