On April 18 the Library got a jump on Preservation Week (April 22–28) with an in-house demo of how to make iron gall ink—the most widely used ink from the middle ages to the early 20th century.
UVA Book Conservator Sue Donovan; Associate Director, Campus-Wide Partnerships & Services Ricky Patterson; and Senior User Experience Design & Development Engineer Christopher Welte assembled the ingredients for Donovan to whip up a batch of ink using Jane Austen’s favorite recipe that calls for “blue galls,” iron sulfate, gum Arabic, and beer. Galls are round pods that form on trees when wasps inject eggs to incubate in the stems—they provide a rich source of tannic acid.
As soon as the finely ground galls and other ingredients were combined in a dark mixture, the staff were given the opportunity to dip quills and write with the type of ink that Austen may have used 200 plus years ago to pen Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Northanger Abbey.
Preservation Week is dedicated to connecting library users and staff with preservation tools, promoting the importance and enhancing the knowledge of preservation issues among the general public.
Please join the Library in celebrating and saving our our cultural record:
- Tuesday April 24, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., in the Byrd/Morris room of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Preservation Brenda Gunn will lead a book club discussion of John Grisham’s Camino Island, a novel about a priceless archival theft from Princeton University’s Firestone Library. If you need a copy of the book, contact Brenda Gunn and she’ll try to snag you a copy.
- Thursday April 26, starting at 9:00 a.m. EST, UVA will participate in the Society of American Archivists’ Twitter Conference. The Library will focus on the work it’s doing with community digital collecting regarding events of August 11–12 2017. To follow along, see hashtag #PresTC.
- Thursday, April 26, 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m., in the Byrd/Morris room of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, Kress Conservation Fellow Nora Bloch will give a talk entitled “Reducing the Appearances of Tidelines on Leather with Rigid Gels” for the annual UVA Library Preservation Lecture. Bring your lunch. The Library will provide drinks and tasty treats!