Exploring Rare Books
Such a wonderful article [“Stories Within Stories,” Winter 2012-13]—very finely written. …
Barbara Lynn Oleson Jeppson BS’64
Is there a reason that the staff are not wearing gloves? If I remember correctly, oils from the human finger could cause havoc on the paper. Just wondering.
Amy Birks BS’98
I’m no expert on the wearing/not wearing of gloves when handling rare materials, but I learned from Luise [Poulton] that there is good evidence that wearing gloves causes problems. … In any case, lovely article about a fabulous curator and great collection!
Amy’s question is one that gets asked often. … Briefly, the question about the use of gloves or not when handling rare books is decades old. The arguments for wearing gloves include the point you make—hands have natural, protective oils that can harm paper, ink, and other elements of a book. Gloves help protect against this. However, gloves can often do more harm than good: People wearing gloves tend to be a bit clumsy. It is difficult to turn pages with gloves on, and gloved hands can be slippery. The fibers in cotton gloves can get caught in paper fibers, which can cause damage. Finally, one of the great pleasures in handling books is to feel the paper, the impression of the type, if the book was printed letterpress, the leather of the binding, so many things. Carefully cleaned hands and mindful handling allow us all those pleasures while keeping the book safe.
Luise Poulton BA’01
Rare Books Manager, J. Willard Marriott Library
Thanking a Professor
First, I want to express gratitude both to Ms. [Elaine] Jarvik and to the U of U Continuum magazine for putting this article [“Taking the Long View,” Summer 2012] together on such a wonderful teacher and inspiring mentor.
Working with Fred [Montague] up at the Sill Center garden not only helped me recover from being a wayward theater major, but also served to help me ground myself in actualizing my values and becoming a responsible and aware world citizen (as much as possible). Although Fred did not stand in the way of the guilt and despair elicited by the revelation of environmental science facts and trends, he also taught us to have compassion for ourselves and each other as we tried to integrate this knowledge into our lives.
I have immense gratitude to him for his lessons in ecology and environmental citizenship, and he inspired me to follow my passion to my own vocation. I think of him often as I consider whether my lifestyle embodies my values, and especially when I’m working in my own organic garden. So, thank you Fred for turning on the light, so to speak. Your life continues to be a source of inspiration for how to live with integrity and passion.
Aaron Watt Rousseau BA’04 (attended 1996-2001)
Memories of a Monument
Great article [“A Monumental Tradition,” Winter 2012-13]. I remember participating in the late ’50s as a freshman. Brought back many memories.
Carol Jean Summerhays BS’60
Tributes to the Artist
FANTASTICO! [“The Groucho Marxist,” Winter 2012-13]