Larry Devore, Freer Sackler volunteer

Honoring Our Volunteers: Protect and Serve

Larry DeVore has long had a love and appreciation for all things Asian. He is an avid collector of Japanese netsukes and other antiques, as well as prints. Recently retired after twenty-four years as a docent at the Freer|Sackler, Larry has also been a volunteer in our Department of Conservation and Scientific Research (CSR) for twenty-three years! Volunteering one day a week, he has undertaken numerous projects including constructing four-flap storage boxes to protect books, repairing torn book covers, fabricating made-to-fit deep storage mats (known as sink mats), and mending torn paper squeezes (see Larry’s blog post on that project).

Over the last ten years, Larry has mended the covers of at least fifteen books, created sink mats for over thirty Whistler watercolors, and constructed a staggering five hundred four-flap book boxes. Extrapolating from his output over the last ten years, we estimate that Larry has made well over eleven hundred book boxes over twenty five years!

A few of the book boxes Larry has worked on over the years
A few of the book boxes Larry has worked on over the years

Without Larry, much of our collections, including Islamic and Japanese printed books, would have suffered from the wear and tear of handling and storage. Instead, with the protection of folded, 20-point card stock boxes, these books will be preserved for generations to come. CSR would like to thank Larry for his years of dedicated volunteer service.

Watch a video to learn how you can make a box to protect your own valuable books.

Emily Jacobson

Emily Jacobson is the paper and photographs conservator in the Freer|Sackler’s Department of Conservation and Scientific Research.

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