Library & Archive Materials Laboratory
During the first year of the Master’s program, library and archive materials are covered in a two- week block focused on the unique challenges facing research collections that may hold rare books, manuscripts, parchment documents, architectural drawings, scrapbooks, pamphlets, and ephemera. The block looks at the material culture and technology of these diverse materials, as well as basic strategies for the preservation of large collections valuable for intellectual content as well as rarity and beauty. Topics build on the themes introduced in the paper conservation block and include book structure, book history, deterioration, and treatment of library and archival materials, and housing options.
During the second year, library and archive materials conservation majors work from theory to practice by pursuing independent research and completing conservation projects for a wide array of books and other collection materials. Basic book conservation skills covered can include identifying and stabilizing book components in situ, intervening into various historic book structures, disbinding, rebinding, designing loss compensation, recovering original spine movement, designing exhibit cradles, and creating housings. Conservation projects incorporating a wide variety of library and archive materials, will be introduced as appropriate to each student’s background and interests. A strong focus is placed on understanding the context of libraries and archives and working as a team with librarians and archivists to meet changing institutional needs.
Library and archive materials conservation majors are supervised by Melissa Tedone, and often take additional concentrations in paper, photographic materials, or preventive conservation.