Skip to Main Content

Turkic publications from Xinjiang at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives

Portfolio Enclosures for Rare and Fragile Uyghur Publications

In the early months of 2024, an exciting rediscovery was made by the librarians at the Hoover Institution during a material review. Previously uncataloged Uyghur publications have now been cataloged and are available for researchers. Due to their rarity and fragility, they were rehoused to ensure they could be handled and accessed by researchers while being protected in a secure enclosure.


Video showing finished rehousing of Yāsh oghul-qizlirimiz yéngi we toghra bilim élish üchün yuquri mekteblerge toplunungla! 
ياش اغۇل-قزلرېمز ييڭى ۋە توغرى بېلم اېلش اوچون يوقورى مكتبلرگە توپلۇنۇڭلا!


For the launch of this rehousing project, two pieces were chosen to be pilot examples for future enclosures. To begin, each piece was surface cleaned, and tears mended using toned Japanese tissue and methyl cellulose. The pieces were then individually sandwiched between 2 sheets of mylar and encapsulated on three of the edges, leaving the top edge open. The encapsulated piece was then placed inside a custom enclosure consisting of rag mat board, sandwiched on both sides with a beveled window cut at a 5 mm border perfectly fitting the pieces of paper. Mat board covers were adhered to either side of this “sandwich mount,” using gummed linen tape. A custom portfolio for this was then created consisting of a three-flap enclosure made of 20pt board adhered to an outer cover of blue board and cloth, with ties to secure it closed.
















The remaining single-sheet publications, especially those that were particularly fragile, have undergone this treatment method, while booklets have custom-adapted housing for accessibility. Crafting custom housing for this rare material was a component of my training as a pre-graduate program conservation intern. The distinctive housing technique was developed by Laurent Cruveillier, Hoover’s Book and Paper Conservator, during his tenure at University College London - Special Collections. You can watch a video showcasing the inspiration here.

Written by: Emma Ross Reuther