Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jones Library Preservation Projects

Jones Library Articles
Article 18 G: Archival Material Conservation & Restoration (Year 4 of 5), Jones Library Special Collections, with Town Clerk's Office: $ 20,000
Article 18 H: Jones Library Roof study/bid specs and emergency repairs: $ 15,000
Article 18 I: Jones Library Special Collections Climate Control (HVAC) study/bid specs

These articles are closely related, for the concern the relation between the integrity of the building and the protection of the collections it houses. For three years, now CPA has been funding the restoration of Town documents (including tax records, records of Town Meeting on paper and audio-visual media, etc.) as well as the whole range of rare resources in Jones Special Collections (books, letters, photographs on paper or glass, audio recordings, and the like).

It has become increasingly clear, however, that conditions in the building are actually or potentially deleterious to holdings. The most dramatic problem occurs in the place where one would least expect it: Special Collections, which is supposed to be controlled for stable temperature and humidity, but which in fact displays large and disturbing fluctuations.

More recently, deterioration to the fabric of the building itself has become apparent, notably to the slate roof and related structural elements.

Given the historic nature of the building, expert analysis of materials and techniques is required if repairs are to be lasting and do more harm than good. Because the potential cost of such comprehensive work is very high, the Historical Commission is supporting funding for initial work that will diagnose the problem, establish a plan for complete correction, and fund any emergency repairs that cannot safely be put off. It is in this sense that the word, "study," is to be understood. We anticipate that a good share of the appropriation can be used for actual repairs. The remainder, if any, would return to the pool.

The Historical Commission has expressed an interest in hearing proposals for funding the larger repair scheme once a rigorous plan has been developed.

(more content coming)

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