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Measuring Guidelines for Books and Manuscripts

  1. Volumes that are bound in vellum are apt to warp in response to changes in humidity. For this reason, such volumes should be housed in a phase box rather than a CMI box. The 4 flaps and string of the phase box will put pressure on the volume and keep it from warping.
  2. Procedures for phase box measurement are the same as those for CMI boxes. (See CMI Book End-processing or CMI Manuscript End-processing). The only difference would be to apply enough pressure in measuring volumes that are already warped so the phase box can provide some flattening, but not so much pressure as to risk cracking the boards. 
  3. Measurements should be entered into the HOUGHTON PHASE BOX ORDER spreadsheet, located  in the shared directory for Acquistions and End-processing in a folder called PHASE BOXES. The grayed columns are for Houghton use only.
  4. When entering measurements, each item receives a Phase box number from 1 to 30 for use by the Widener Lab, who makes the boxes for us. They can handle orders less than 30 per month, but they cannot handle more than that.
  5. Do not exceed 30 boxes. Instead, begin a new spreadsheet for the following month’s order, starting with phase box #1. The Manuscript End-processor will oversee this process to ensure order.
  6. At the beginning of the month, the Manuscript End-processor will consult with the Book end-processor and the Preservation Officer and email the finished spreadsheet to Widener cc:ing both of them.
  7. Both the Manuscript and Book end-processors are responsible for keeping track of the location of items waiting for phase boxes, making certain they can be easily identified when the boxes arrive, in a manner similar to that of CMI procedures.
  8. The Preservation Officer, Manuscript and Book End-processors receive email notification from Widener when the boxes are finished and ready to be picked up. The Preservation Officer is responsible for retrieving them as soon as possible and checking the order.
  9. When the order has been verified and divided between BOOKS and MS (manuscripts) the Preservation Officer will notify the Book and Manuscript End-processors, and deliver them respectively. If time or space issues prohibit prompt delivery, the Book and Manuscript End-processors will be prepared to stop by and pick up their own orders from the Preservation Officer, as directed.
  10. The Manuscript and Book End-processors are then responsible for end-processing the items and having them shelved.

Tying the finished boxes

  1. Wind thread around each brad at least 3 times.
  2. Trim threads to approximately 2"



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