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Preservation with Phase Boxes

Purpose: Rare, delicate, and/or damaged books sometimes require repackaging in phase boxes for preservation.  The procedures outlined below are transcribed from an internal document dated 11/10/94 authored by Jane DeWitt and attributed to "preservation specialist Bill Cook."

Instructions: Interlocking Method

  1. Place book on top/bottom piece.
  2. Place book + top/bottom piece onto left/right piece.
  3. Close left/right piece first, then top/bottom piece, to interlock the two pieces.
  4. Affix barcode label to the item itself rather than the phase box (*unless Rare Book - in this case, the barcode is affixed to the back of the phase box, on the left/right piece).
  5. Print 2 call number labels. 
    a. Add one call number label and title label to left/right piece (preferred). If book is too narrow, place on front (top/bottom piece).
    b. If Rare Book, add second call number label to acid-free bookmark as instructed in Rare Book Procedures.
    b. For all other items, add second call number label to the book itself, as instructed in Processing Newly Cataloged Books.
  6. Add a "Phase Box" message to item record. This alerts Circulation staff that such books should check out and return with the phase box.  Instructions:
    a. Find/open item record in Sierra
    b. Select Insert, (m) Message
    c. Type "Phase Box"
    d. OK
    e. Save

Phase Box Assembly Reminder:
Top/Bottom on first but closed second;
Left/Right on second, but closed first.

As of March 2006, Special Collections is considering a new paper stock for phase boxes.  If this new material is purchased, be sure to use it for all Special Collections/Rare items.

Return to Technical Services procedures

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