CONSTRUCTION OF ACRYLIC BOOK CRADLES
LINDA A. BLASER
Holding books open safely during an exhibit has been a longtime concern of the library community. Although acrylic sheet cradling techniques have been used for some time, the directions have only been given out more or less by word of mouth. While I was at the Library of Congress in the mid-1970s, I was lucky enough to be trained to construct cradles from acrylic sheets by Christopher Clarkson. The following is a description of drawing cradle patterns and an explanation of how to use those patterns to construct the finished cradles.
While I have heard that there are sometimes many books in an exhibit that are the same size, open to the same page, and each one opening as well as the next one, I have never run across that situation. I recommend looking at each and every book as an individual, with its own particular construction and specific opening, in order to properly cradle the open book while it is on exhibit. Therefore, I have not included any shortcuts for the manufacture of multiple cradles.