Conservation Center at IFA Awarded Grant for Education and Training of Library and Archive Conservators by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


The Conservation Center at the Institute of Fine Arts has been awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a four-year pilot program in the education and training of library and archive conservators.

Conservation Center at IFA Awarded Grant for Education and Training of Library and Archive Conservators by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Student conservator Lisa Clare Nelson performing a basic book repair.

The Conservation Center at the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) has been awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a four-year pilot program in the education and training of library and archive conservators. The Mellon Foundation has awarded an initial grant of $315,000 for the creation of a collaborative program aimed at enhancing graduate level offerings in library and archive conservation training.

The pilot program will involve a joint partnership between Columbia University Libraries, the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, and the Morgan Library and Museum. The goal of the program is to connect the various resources available for book conservation training within a focused, consolidated program of study. The project will build upon the current curriculum while expanding special training through library and information courses, practical instruction from leading conservators, and focused summer and winter intersession workshops.

“A primary feature of the program will be the collaborative network of partner institutions,” said Margaret Holben Ellis, Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation at the Conservation Center. “Students will have access to a wealth of training opportunities and excellent resources across the country. NYU is not alone in addressing the increasing need for library and archive conservators; Buffalo State College and Winterthur-University of Delaware will offer similar programs each based on their individual programmatic strengths.”

Through this pilot program, the Conservation Center hopes to help establish a foundation for the future enhancement and expansion of library and archive conservation training in the United States. Patricia Rubin, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts added: “We are grateful that the Foundation has agreed to support this joint training effort and we believe that this innovative program will help to directly address the on-going need for library and archive conservators to care for America’s cultural heritage collections.”

The will accommodate up to two entering students each academic year who are specializing in library and archive conservation. The Conservation Center will provide full tuition for these students who will be selected during the upcoming spring admissions review for the fall 2011 incoming class.

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