Anne Rice Collection: Conservation Update
This semester, the Tulane University Libraries (TUL) Conservation Team has collaborated extensively with Tulane University Special Collections (TUSC) to preserve items from the Anne Rice Collection.
For the Bible Rice used in her research for her Christ the Lord novels, Conservation Librarian Sabrena Johnson designed a custom clamshell box with red and purple book cloth and swirled marbled papers, evocative of the themes explored in the series. She then created maroon "bumpers" and attached them to the cradle within the box to prevent shifting. This ensured that Rice’s handwritten neon post-it flags were well-accommodated.
“Before transferring any material from Jones Hall to the Conservation Lab, I met with Sabrena to clarify our vision. Rice’s bound and oversized materials became my priority to ensure that they are boxed, labelled, and available at the same time as the rest of the collection,” says Nix Mendy, Archival Processing Library Associate for the Anne Rice Collection.
Conservation Specialist Sara White constructed 18 custom four-flap enclosures for Rice's personal notebooks. Many were from her time at the University of San Francisco in the early 1960s, which at the time was an all-male university that allowed women to take night classes. After years of wear and tear, galley pages from Cry to Heaven (1982) and Feast of All Saints (1979) also needed work. Sara used heat-set tissue and a hot iron to fill torn areas and flatten wrinkles.
“Our Conservation Team has crafted custom enclosures that balance beauty with the practical needs of the materials. Repairing many damaged or misaligned pages will extend the lifespan of these papers, which enhances their research value. In their original condition, the galleys required handling with a very cautious hand, but the transformation will allow patrons to maneuver them with more ease,” shares Mendy.
Anne Rice’s papers and records will be accessible to patrons in TUSC’s reading room located in Jones Hall in January 2022, although her diaries will be closed until after her death. The materials related to Stan Rice and her deceased sister Alice Borchardt, including papers, records, and artwork, will be available in Spring 2022. For more information about Tulane University Special Collections, visit https://library.tulane.edu/tusc, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 504-865-5685.