Contact Information
last updated: 2/5/2013

Enclosures (E. Lingle Craig Preservation Laboratory)

Enclosures are protective housings for library artifacts. They serve a number of preservation functions, the most obvious being the protection of objects from mechanical damage and the collation of separate artifacts, such as archival records and manuscript materials. Enclosures also serve to preserve object in more subtle, but equally important, ways. One chief benefit of a preservation enclosure is its ability to buffer against environmental change. Short spikes in temperature and relative humidity often have no impact on materials stored in enclosures and the rate of environmental change inside of an enclosures is dramatically slower, reducing the effect of harmful environmental fluctuations. Enclosures that are constructed of archival quality materials - acid and lignin free boards, and boards with an additional alkaline reserve - also help draw harmful chemicals away from library artifacts, greatly reducing the effects of acid hydrolysis.

The Craig Lab creates a wide array of enclosures for the artifacts in the Libraries collections. The staff of our conservation sections produce from 3,000 - 6,000 enclosures by hand each year. Detailed information these treatments are available in our conservation manual. In addition, our Kasemake KM503A is used to produce between 10,000 and 13,000 enclosures each year.


With the October 2001 installation of a Kasemake 503A box-making machine, the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries became the first academic research library in the country to automate the process of creating protective enclosures for fragile books. The box-making machine was purchased with private donations and installed by Conservation By Design Limited of Bedford, England.

This computer-driven machine can produce intricate boxes in minutes, drastically reducing the time required to create enclosures. The new machine takes over the work of cutting and scoring the sheets of board. Staff members enter a book's dimensions into a database, and a computer-aided design program then reads the data and the operator batches several enclosures together to optimize the use of materials.

Enclosure production is a particularly important activity since the opening of the Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF), s facility that provides secure, climate controlled shelving for approximately 2.68 million volumes from the Libraries Collections. Enclosures are created for the Lilly Library materials being transferred to the ALF as well as for many fragile books currently housed at Bloomington's 18 other campus libraries.

Following on the success of the Kasemake at the Craig Lab, Heckman Bindery and ICI Binding now offer custom enclosures produced on this machine.

Some notables for the Kasemake:
  • Approximately 100,000 enclosures to date (since January 2002).

  • Specifications:
  • Width: 2180 mm. (7 ? ft.)
  • Length: 2345 mm. (7 ? ft.)
  • Weight: 427 kilos. (940 lbs)

Power Requirements:

  • Standard 220 - 60 Hz (for single phase vacuum pump)
  • Standard 110 (for computer and table controller)

Staff: 1 Operator (1 FTE); Staff to measure and box books (Approx. 2 FTE).

Materials Used:

  • Solid-core Paper Board up to 40" x 60": 20pt, 40pt, 60pt, 80pt (Binder's Board)
  • Corrugated Board
  • Most papers and book cloths
  • Tyvek, Mylar, & other synthetic films

US Vendor:

McKenna Systems, Inc. (Tim McKenna)
2935 W. Sherwin Ave.
Chicago, IL 60645
Phone: (773) 743-0337 | Fax: (773) 743-0386
Email: | Website:

    last updated: 2/5/2013