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Margaret B. Harrison Preservation Lab

Lab Dedication

Library Preservation Services was dedicated to Margaret B. Harrison on September 13, 1990 in commemoration of her longtime library support and commitment to binding. After her death in the 1980’s, her binding supplies and equipment were bequeathed to the UC Davis Library to support the library’s binding efforts. The Preservation programs are supported by an endowment provided by Mike Harrison in memory of his wife, Margaret.

History of the Preservation Lab

The UC Davis Library dedicated its Preservation Services on September 13, 1990, in commemoration of a longtime library supporter, Margaret B. Harrison.

Margaret B. Harrison became interested in bookbinding in the 1930s, soon after her marriage to Michael Harrison, apprenticing for a time with master bookbinder Hazel Dreis. Although she had originally planned to teach bookbinding, World War II intervened, and Mrs. Harrison spent the war years as an adjutant and then commanding officer in the Sacramento Women’s Ambulance and Transportation Corps. She did not pursue teaching. For more than four decades, however, her bookbinding skills enabled her to bind and preserve a number of volumes within the Western Americana collection that she and Michael were acquiring.

After Mrs. Harrison’s death in 1980, her binding equipment and supplies were bequeathed to the University Library to support the library’s binding efforts. Mrs. Harrison’s half interest in the Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center was also bequeathed to the library. In memory of his wife, Michael Harrison provided an endowment, the income from which is used to augment the library’s ongoing preservation programs.

Preservation Treatment

Over the life of a library book, it sees a fair amount of use, often resulting in normal wear and tear.  You may have checked out books that show some signs of use: dented corners, worn hinges, and damaged book spines.  The Margaret B. Harrison Conservation Lab is where those books go to be repaired.

Career and student staff are responsible for the binding and repair of circulating library material. Materials meeting certain criteria are repaired in the Preservation Lab. Other damaged materials are sent to the UC Bindery for either re-casing or re-binding.

Books needing attention are usually identified by the Circulation/Shelving staff who direct them to the 4th floor where determination of the best treatment options are considered.

The career staff are also integral members of the UC Davis Library Disaster Response Team.

Preservation Resources

UC Davis Library Preservation can only repair or bind materials which belong to the UC Davis Library. For your convenience, we provide the following list of resources.

Commercial Binders

The following is a list of binderies in the Northern California area. It is not a complete listing, nor is it an endorsement of individual binderies. Please contact the businesses directly to see if their services and prices meet your needs.

Cal-Na Bindery

1508 S St.
Sacramento, CA 95811


Cardoza-James Binding Co.

2325 Third St., Suite 221
San Francisco, CA 94107

Company Website

Pettingell Book Bindery

2181 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704


Schuberth Book Bindery

910 Harrison St.
San Francisco, CA 94107


Taurus Bindery

2748 9th St.
Berkeley, CA 94710