Guidelines for Physical Preparation and Deposit of Special Collections Items


Revised 10/24/2016
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The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for depositing libraries in preparing special collections materials for deposit in the SRLF.

  1. Storage Area Specifications

    1. The SRLF shelves special collections books and boxed materials in the following size categories:
      Barcode Sequence Height Width
      G (Books) 6 to 12 inches Maximum 9 inches
      H (Books) Less than 6 or more than 12 inches Maximum 18 inches
      F & FF (Boxes) Overall dimensions within 18 x 36 inches wide
      N & NN (Oversized Boxes, folders, & Folios) Overall dimensions within 48 x 48 inches (height is variable)
    2. Each item is measured by the total height, which will include any housing or label which accompanies it.
    3. These size categories and the letter designations are specific to special collection deposits and other restricted materials that are shelved at the SRLF.
    4. One barcode label (5/8" x 2") is affixed to item by SRLF processing staff in accordance with processing guidelines.
    5. Book materials are shelved double-deep at the SRLF unless they are oversized (size category H).
  2. Preparations for Deposit

    1. All items deposited must have an online bibliographic records.  Items without matching bibliographic records will be returned to depositing unit.
    2. Since many special collections materials are not permanently or visibly labeled in the same way that general collection materials are labeled, staff of depositing libraries must enclose and/or label all materials being deposited so that SRLF staff can match each item with its corresponding bibliographic record. The enclosure or label also allows placement of the SRLF barcode label without damaging or altering rare or valuable materials.
    3. Any monograph that has an individual bibliographic record and is to be retrieved at the item level must be enclosed and/or labeled at the item level.
    4. Preservation quality materials such as acid-free paper or inert polyester (such as Mylar) are preferred for enclosures and labels, but existing enclosures such as glassine book jackets and custom slipcases may also be used to protect materials.
    5. Enclosures and labels must be securely affixed to or inserted in each item so as not to become inadvertently separated during the course of normal processing and loan activities.
    6. Each enclosure should fit the size of the volume as closely as possible in order to prevent damage caused by shifting.
    7. Acceptable enclosure and inserts include:
      • Envelopes
      • Book jackets
      • Wrap-around strips (wrapped around entire item and secured with a fastener such as a Velcro tab, not with tape; the tab should be positions at the item’s head, foot, or fore-edge to avoid damaging adjacent materials)
      • Acid-free paper strips (2.5 inches wide to accommodate the SRLF barcode label, and ca. 1.5”-2” longer than the volume is high)
    8. Wherever adhesive labels are used, they must be of a type that will remain securely attached indefinitely.
    9. As necessary, SRLF processing staff may temporarily remove enclosures in order to identify access points for search and retrieval of the online bibliographic records.
    10. Each item must be labeled with depositing campus/branch information, call number, and circulation status.  The suggested label format is:
      Depositing campus/branch
      Call Number/Collection Number
      Title
      Bib Id
      Circ Status = N
    11. If the item lacks a specific call number, an accession number, collection name, or other identifier must be supplied so that SRLF staff can identify the correct online record.
    12. If the call number already appears on the volume's spine, front cover, or title page, the label will contain only campus/branch information, circulation status, and any other information necessary to identify the correct holding in the online record.
    13. Each item receives an individual barcode label to be affixed by SRLF staff to the top left corner of the enclosure or label, NOT to the item itself.
    14. Items deposited without an enclosure and which have been labeled by the depositing unit directly on the spine, front cover, or title page will receive their barcode label affixed to the top left corner of the front cover.
    15. Whenever possible, deposit serials and monographs on separate book carts.  Monographs and serials are staged in different queues and have different workflows.
  3. Circulation Status

    1. Special Collections deposits will automatically default to the "Non-Circulating" status.  Pre-existing stamps and tapes will be ignored at the SRLF.
    2. Special Collections deposits will be shelved on Phase 1 Level 2 and Phase 2 Level A.
  4. Softbound and Unbound Volumes

    1. Softbound volumes that have a stiff paper cover and can stand alone may shelve as is.
    2. Softbound monographs that are less than 1/4" thick, with or without a stiff paper cover, should be placed in a container with two open sides (open top and open back), such as a Princeton file.
    3. Fill these containers to capacity with one size category per file.  The containers are not labeled or barcoded, since each item inside the container is labeled and barcoded.
    4. Unbound serials that are less than 1/4" thick, with or without a stiff paper cover, should be placed in closed acid-free document boxes.  Retrieval will be at the box level, not by individual issue.
    5. Label each box with the depositing campus/branch information, call number/collection number, volume enumeration/box number, and circulation status.  The suggested label format is:
      Depositing Campus/Branch
      Call Number/Collection Number
      Title
      Volume Enumeration/Box Number
      Bib Id Circ Status = N
  5. Damaged and Fragile Items

    1. Damaged or fragile items must be enclosed in order to preserve the material and maintain a dust-free environment at the SRLF.
    2. Items in any of the following conditions are considered damaged or fragile: the text block and covers have separated; soft covers are torn or coming off; individual pages are falling out of the item; or leather binding is disintegrating.
    3. The depositing library may prepare damaged or fragile volumes for storage using any of the following enclosures:
      • Pam bind with a pocket
      • Archival box
      • Archival envelopes (manila envelopes and envelopes with external metal clasps are not acceptable; envelopes should only be used for paperbound volumes 1/4” thick or less)
      • Acid-free pamphlet folders
      • Acid-free wrapper secured with Velcro dots
      • Archival cut-and-fold storage boxes (perforated paper cut to fit the volume, secured with Velcro dots)
    4. The enclosure should fit the size of the items as closely as possible in order to prevent damage caused by shifting.
    5. Label each box with the depositing campus/branch information, call number/collection number, volume enumeration/box number, and circulation status.  The suggested label format is:
      Depositing Campus/Branch
      Call Number/Collection Number
      Title
      Volume Enumeration/Box Number
      Bib Id Circ Status = N
    6. If the item lacks a specific call number, an accession number, collection name, or other identifier must be supplied so that SRLF staff can identify the correct holding in the online record.
    7. Damaged items deemed un-shelfworthy will be returned unprocessed to the owning library for remediation.  Un-shelfworthy items are generally items in multiple pieces without proper enclosure, moldy items, items with insect or vermin infestations, and items with exposed metal parts that would damage neighboring pieces.