The University of Kansas

Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Books on a shelf

Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.

Scroll Box

December 24th, 2013

Recently, conservation student assistant, Jordan Key, constructed a series of scroll boxes from scrap materials we had on hand: corrugated board, cord, and posts for post bindings. The directions for these scroll boxes were provided by KU’s Japanese Studies Librarian, who received them in a workshop in Japan. Although we could not read the text in the scroll housing directions, the diagrams were easy to follow.

Box for scroll.   Box containing scroll

Box closed (L) and opened (R). Great Britain. Court of Chancery. Decree rolls. 1726-1728.
Call number: MS Roll 1. Special Collections.

Jordan added foam inserts on the ends for scrolls wound on wooden dowels to prevent these scrolls from being crushed. I was pleased by the final results–quick to make, elegant in appearance, and easy to use. This is a wonderful solution for materials that are too long to store flattened.

Previously, Spencer Library’s scrolls were either stored with many rolled items to a box, or not boxed at all. Now that they are each in their own box, paging these scrolls for patrons will be easier and safer.

Whitney Baker
Head, Conservation Services