I Do Solemnly Swear
This article appeared in the Fall, 2003 issue of the IU Libraries newsletter, "The Source"

Used with great reverence in the swearing-in
ceremonies of IU trustees, the Bible of William
Lowe bryan, IU President from 1902 to 1937,
was beginning to show its age. Its tattered
leather cover and torn pages were, well,
unbecoming of such a historic and valued
university artifact.

Conservationists in the E. Lingle Craig
Preservation Laboratory rescued the Bible by
rebuilding its hinge, mending light tears in its
pages, and reinforcing part of its leather cover.
The replacement leather, dyed and textured to
match, is virtually impossible to distinguish
from the original. A specialty treatment
facility in Pennsylvania neutralized the acid
in the paper, ensuring that the pages won't
become brittle over time.

Restoring the Bible used each year to swear in
new trustees extends an annual relationship
between IU Libraries and the Trustees of
Indiana University that began even earlier. As
directed by the Indiana general Assembly,
every June since 1891 the IU Libraries have
tallied the alumni ballots in the annual trustee
elections.

A specially made box protects former IU President
William Lowe Bryan's Bible. Its inside cover houses
a storage envelope for Bryan's handwritten notes,
apparently created in preparation for a sermon.
Conservationists mended and encapsulated the notes
as part of the restoration.


A few more shots of the Bible and the enclosure designed and produced by General Collections Conservation
(click on thumbnails for larger images)


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