Don't Rock the Cradle Symposium

Books in Exhibitions—Mounts, Materials, and Economy

April 01 – 03, 2015
Folger Shakespeare Library


The Folger Shakespeare Library's Werner Gundersheimer Conservation Department is organizing this three-day symposium on books in exhibitions focusing on book cradles and book supports.

See photo gallery from the symposium.

This symposium is being offered in collaboration with Hanka Gerhold, paper conservator at the “Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz,” Germany and Michaela Brand, book conservator at the “Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum,” Berlin, Germany, following up on their successful symposium on this topic “In die Wiege gelegt” held in Berlin in 2013. As that symposium was offered in German only, this symposium is a unique opportunity to discuss books in exhibitions and their supports.

The symposium will discuss the various types of available book cradles and book supports, both generic and custom-made, as well as the wide variety of techniques employed by different institutions to custom-build them.

The main issues to be discussed in this symposium will be:

  • How to safely display an opened book
  • What angle of presentation is the best compromise between exhibition and preservation
  • What types of supports or designs are available to display a book
  • Is the cradle intended to be a purely structural support or is it part of the visual design of the case and exhibition
  • What materials are safe, cost effective, and sustainable

The symposium will be limited to approximately 180 participants and will be held in the Folger's historic theater.

Colleagues will be invited to share the designs of their book cradles and supports by sending in a sample which will be on view for all participants.

Please see our full program for a detailed list of presentations and the anticipated schedule. Abstracts for each presentation are available for those interested in more information, as are speaker biographies. We encourage you to join us at the Market Place, a temporary space set up across the street for casual conversations, lunches, breaks, and professional exchanges. Registration materials and coffee will be available in the Market Place between 8:30am and 10:00am on Wednesday, April 1st. The Market Place will also contain a wide variety of cradles contributed by Hanka Gerhold, presenters, attendees, and various institutions across the country; these will be available for inspection and inspiration for the duration of the symposium.

Please see our cancellation policy for information pertaining to the cancellation of your registration.