Library and Archives

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Library conservator Dr. Melissa Tedone examines a 1940s tafsir from Gambia with Karissa Muratore (WUDPAC 2020) in the Library and Archive Materials Laboratory.

Library & Archive Materials Laboratory

During the first year of the master's program, library and archive materials are covered in a three-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. 

The Library and Archives Conservation Education (LACE) Consortium was founded to support the education of library conservators through the development of a shared, inter-institutional curriculum in library-related topics which enhances the individual curriculums at each of the participating art conservation programs. The Consortium is comprised of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC); the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; and the Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State. More information about the LACE curriculum at WUDPAC is available here. WUDPAC applicants interested in Library and Archives Conservation studies are asked to note their LACE preference on the Statement of Interest in their application materials.

Library and archive materials conservation majors are supervised by Dr. Melissa Tedone, and take a minor concentration in paper, with additional formal coursework in preventive conservation.

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