Preservation Week: 5 questions with Annemaree Rea

May 3, 2023
Hannah Moshier
Collection Care Specialist Annemaree Rea

Each year libraries around the U.S. celebrate Preservation Week to promote preservation activities. You can find all kinds of resources from quick preservation tips to preservation guides by format to resources in multiple languages at the Preservation Week website.

Preserving and caring for our collections requires a dedicated team of experts across the Stanford Libraries. For Preservation Week 2023, the Preservation Department will be introducing some of our newer staff members through a series of Q&A blog posts. Today's Q&A is with Collection Care Specialist Annemaree Rea.


Tell us about your work.

As the Collection Care Specialist, I am responsible for the repair and/or housing needs of the circulating collections of most of the branch libraries and Green. Whether a book needs a new spine or simply has a torn cover, I will tend to the books using knowledge I’ve gained from my later-in-life education or my on-the-job training I received when I began working here nearly 12 years ago.


What is your favorite book/item to come across your bench in the past year?

We recently received a battered copy of “Sport in Many Lands” by H.A.L. (Henry Astbury Leveson) aka “the Old Shekarry.” Ignoring all the problematic language and colonialist themes, this tome on hunting has 200 beautiful illustrations of all the poor animals this guy likely killed.

Illustration of tiger head and antelope skullsIllustration of animal heads and skullsIllustration of wild sheep heads


What is something about your job that people would be surprised to learn?

People may be surprised to learn that I also help to monitor and identify any pests that are in our libraries. Bibliophile-bugs can be hard to identify as they can be as small as a pin head but with the aid of magnification we are able to identify most of them accurately which helps determine treatment options if needed.


Do you have a favorite tool/operation/piece of equipment?

I have a number of favorite tools starting with my micro-spatulas. I have a couple different sized double-ended spatulas that aid in a variety of tasks, from lifting pasted down bookcloth from its cover to removing dried glue bits from old spines. I can also use them to help separate stuck-together pages.

My other favorite tools are my dividers which help me to precisely measure the width of items and my waterbrush which is a fillable ‘paint brush’ that I use to create soft edges on torn archival mending paper.


Can you recommend some books, websites, or articles about your field?

For an ASMR-friendly voice presenting various conservation and preservation examples, I like Southern Book & Paper’s Youtube channel @SouthernBookAndPaper.

For all medical related, weird, so-glad-I’m-living-now-vs.-then horrors, see Yale medical history library on IG @yalemedhistlib.

For collage-fiends like myself, I like The Prelinger Library, live and in-person in San Francisco or on IG @prelingerlibrary.

And the always lovely-to-visit-if-you’re-in-Chicago Newberry Library who generously opened up their collections that needed transcribing during the pandemic for all those lucky enough to work from home, like myself: @newberrylibrary.