The scrapbooks of Charles Bird King present a treasure trove of information for art historians, historians, conservators, connoisseurs, and collectors. The Library chose to draw attention to the condition of the scrapbooks to educate its public about the richness of the collection and to demonstrate the rigors of proper stewardship of our nation's cultural heritage. The Library staff hoped that the exhibition of the scrapbooks would mark the beginning of a project to catalog and to preserve this unique treasure.
This catalog outlines some preliminary thoughts about methodology. It points out in a very general way both the enormity of the collection and the extent of the problems facing it. Solving the problems will require dedicated, skilled work and a large expenditure of capital.
The Library is still not able to launch into a project to catalog, to rehouse, and to preserve the scrapbooks. The next step is to ascertain the full extent of the task at hand and to estimate precisely the time, staff, and resources necessary to proceed. Once this is done, the Library can begin to put the pieces in line to see to the preservation of one of its great hidden treasures.