Drop spine box with interior cradle

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Contributors: Katherine Kelly, Sarah Reidell, please add your name

Variation 1

These images are of a cloth covered clamshell box made according to Katherine Beaty's instructions in "Cradle Box (Double Tray Clamshell Box With Built in Fold Out Cradle)" (2005). See also Beaty’s ANAGPIC (2005) presentation "21st c. Remedies to 19th c. Repairs of an 18th c. Koran: Materials Analysis, Treatment, and Housing" (PDF).

Cloth covered clamshell box with interior cradle. Photograph by Katherine Kelly. Cloth covered clamshell box with interior cradle. Photograph by Katherine Kelly.

Variation 2

This housing style is useful for items that see frequent display (i.e. on VIP tours) and best for volumes greater than 1” thick, using soft bag weights to support the spine. Dimensions and assembly methods for Variation 2 differ slightly from Beaty's instructions in Variation 1 to match the standard New York Public Library construction style for special collections housings where side walls are attached to the exterior of each tray floor board (not placed on top) to help align the pieces at right angles and use the (short) grain direction to increase overall tray strength. Each short wall abuts the long wall at a right angle. Archival paper tray liners wrap around the tray edges.


Side view of walls and tray. Photograph by Sarah Reidell.Top view of walls and tray. Photograph by Sarah Reidell. Cloth covered drop spine box (clamshell) with interior cradle. Photograph by Sarah Reidell. Paper wrapped around front edge of tray. Photograph by Sarah Reidell.

Variation 3

Jeff Peachey designed a different model and described it in his October 27, 2009 blog post. In this version, the two sides of the cradle are attached to each other and unfold from the bottom tray of the drop spine box. Some potential advantages to this method:

  • The spine of the cradle is the same size as the spine of the book and more closely follows the shape of the book.
  • There is no risk of the wedge in the outer tray becoming loose over time and unexpectedly falling down onto the book when the box is opened.


Drop spine cradle box with box open and cradle folded. Photograph by Jeff Peachey. 2009. Drop spine cradle box with box and cradle open, but with the uprights not yet raised. Photograph by Jeff Peachey. 2009. Drop spine cradle box with cradle in position. Photograph by Jeff Peachey. 2009.

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