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Many items need protective enclosures before being sent to the stacks. There are two kinds of enclosures generally used for books, prefabs and CMIs.


Prefabs are the preferred form of cases; however, they only work for certain types of material, most specifically only volumes under a ½ inch wide. It is the responsibility of the cataloger to put an item in a prefab if it fits into one.

  • A variety of ¼ and ½ inch width prefabs in multiple heights is stocked and can be found in the Mezzanine closet. A list of the sizes can be found in the End-Processing Manual. If a desired size is not found, it can be requested through the head of the Accessioning & End-processing Section.
  • If needed, one can request additional inner wrapping to secure a loose item. (To be done on the routing slip.)
  • If desired, Velcro coins can be added to the open end of the prefabs to hold them down; these can be obtained from head of the Accessioning & End-processing Section; optionally, a prefab can be tied. However, most of the time, a prefab is secure enough on its own.

CMI cases:

CMI cases are the second preferred choice for casing. CMIs are custom-made heavy cardboard cases produced by Custom Manucturing Inc., hence the name. It is the cataloger's responsibility to recommend casing for a particular item, unless a curator has already done so. The recommendation should be clearly indicated on the routing slip. An AEON record should be made for anything destined to go in a CMI. The cataloger then puts the item in an envelope, writes "CMI", the date, and their initials on the envelope and takes the item to the designated area on the mezzanine. Candidates for CMIs include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  1. Most vellum, both limp and stiff. All volumes with loose leaves (e.g. portfolios)
  2. Paperbacks
  3. Books in wrappers
  4. Books with detached boards
  5. Shaken books
  6. Fragile and delicate books
  7. Decorative bindings that need protection
  8. Modern artists' and fine-print books in cloth slipcases
  9. Items with furniture (e.g. bosses) that stick out and could harm neighbors on the shelf

Note: If any of these fit into a prefab comfortably (with or without reinforcement, such as a tie or inner wrapper), then prefer a prefab over a CMI.

Note: There was previously a third option of cloth cases, but this practice has been generally abandoned. If sturdier protection is needed, route the item to Conservation - Review with a note on the routing slip.

1 Comment

  1. Is Conservation - Review queue still current practice?