As New Yorkers, we understand that space is of the essence and that often times multiple objects, or people, must co-habitate inside the same structure.
This was no different when it came to housing The Faunae Insectorum Germanicea collection at Princeton University.
The Faunae Insectorum Germanicea is comprised of 110 individual slipcases each containing about three dozen loose-leaf, hand-colored engravings of insects that date to the late 18th century. It is no surprise that this unique collection required some custom housing and attention.
When Lindsey Hobbs, a Collections Conservator at Princeton University, approached TALAS about housing these objects we worked together to address the following concerns: What is the safest and most practical way to store the objects? How can we make them easily accessible while mitigating any potential damage from handling or the environment? Also, how do we expect patrons will be using the objects in the reading room?
The curator of the collection also wished for the objects to be easily browsable within one or two boxes.
While the conservation staff set out to re-cover and restore the collection, TALAS began designing a box structure that would be able to house the 110 slipcases that also met the above criteria.
After some brainstorming, we decided on a T12 Two-Piece reinforced box design with a custom designed accordion style insert. The boxes and inserts would all be constructed out of our E-PLUS Heritage Corrugated Board. The E-PLUS board is thin, like an E-flute board, but has added strength and rigidity from its heavier weight top sheet.
The unique accordion design measures over 350 inches long when flat! That’s nearly 2.5% of the height of the Empire State Building! Ok… so maybe that’s tall according to archival box standards – but not NY building standards.
The center divider was designed with 55 slots to interlock with the accordion piece. It would act as a means to divide the box into two compartments, and also to hold the accordion piece securely in place.