CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 5, 2000
UI Center for the Book to take part in 'Charters of Freedom' ceremony
IOWA CITY-- Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin has invited UI
Center for the Book Director Timothy Barrett and paper facility manager Lynn
Amlie to take part in a special ceremony Friday, Sept. 15 celebrating the
unveiling of page two of the U.S. Constitution in a new, state-of-the-art
Carlin invited Barrett and Amlie because of their contributions to a major
National Archives and Records Administration project to rehouse all of the
"Charters of Freedom." The National Archives' effort, when complete,
will see each leaf of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights,
and the U.S. Constitution placed in an individual protective enclosure filled
with an inert gas. The new encasements are designed to preserve the documents
The National Archives and Records Administration commissioned the Center
for the Book to produce a special handmade paper for use as support sheets
inside each of the seven new encasements that will be used to preserve the
Charters of Freedom. A cushion of the UI paper will rest under each historic
parchment document and will help regulate the relative humidity within the
Barrett and Amlie developed the paper using textile quality cotton fiber
to give a white, highly permanent sheet free of strong chemical cooking and
bleaching. Amlie and her student co-workers produced by hand all 100 of the
required 36 by 36-inch sheets.
"It is an honor to be involved in a project like this," says Amlie.
"It allows us to combine our expertise in traditional techniques with
new technology to produce a paper specially designed to help preserve these
Barrett and Amlie will make special presentations on their research to rare
book and paper conservators at the National Archives and the Library of Congress.
While in Washington, D.C. Barrett will also meet with John Cole, director
of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, to discuss programs
of mutual interest to both institutions.
"We have a wide range of specialists, classrooms, and research and
production facilities committed to the study of the physical book and creative
book production," says Barrett.
"We're in the process of building a comprehensive program that will
also include research and teaching connected with the impact of the book on
society. Producing this paper is just the type of unique contribution we're
able to make at the UI because of our strengths in book studies.
Barrett and Amlie will be among 100 guests at the Sept. 15 event hosted
by Archivist John Carlin and Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss.
For additional information on the Center for the Book in the preservation
project or upcoming event, contact Tim Barrett, at (319) 335-4712 or Lynn
Amlie (319) 335-4410.