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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Very Big Challenge

I think this is the biggest box I've tried to make, it's for a Torah that was recently on exhibit and needs to go back to RBMSCL.

I'm experimenting with using double-walled corrugated board rather than binders board since it has strength but not weight. The board surface is easily marred but with the book cloth adhered it seems pretty solid. I'm going with a telescoping design, that is a smaller tray that has a separate slightly larger lid that fits over it.

What I'm not sure of yet is the design of the lid. The base is too big to make a lid from one piece of board, so I will have to cobble something together. I'm also considering experimenting with a polyester lid so you can see into the box. Nothing will be stored on top of this box, so having a sturdy lid may not be an issue, but would it provide enough protection? More thought is needed. Luckily the next few days are chock full of meetings, so I'll have time to mull it over.


  1. A Torah is a very holy book that takes up to a year to write. It shouldn't be "sent back to the stacks." Isn't there a more appropriate place it can be stored and appreciated, like the Freeman Center or a local synagogue?

  2. So cool! I'm definitely going to come visit tomorrow!

  3. @Valerie, thank you for your comment. It was my mistake not to make it clear in my blog post that this Torah is from our Rare Books, Manuscript and Special Collection Library (RBMSCL). As Head of Conservation Services I can assure you that our collections are appreciated and well cared for by everyone who works in the Library.

    As you may know, Duke University has a large and well respected Divinity School. We collect a number of primary and secondary resources to support the academic mission of the Divinity School, including Bibles, Torahs, Qur'ans and many other religious texts and supporting literature.

    One of RBMSCL's missions is to support undergraduate and graduate teaching. Our librarians meet with faculty and students in our supervised reading room to present materials related to their class. During these sessions students learn about primary resources relating to their research, how to use the library and request material, and they are shown how to carefully handle special collection items.

    RBMSCL's research room is open to the public as well. I encourage you and anyone interested in conducting research in our Special Collections to contact RBMSCL.

    If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to email me. Thank you very much for reading our blog and taking time to comment, we really appreciate knowing that our readers care as much as we do about our collections.