Trained to be proficient in a wide variety of paper conservation treatments, today’s specialists must also be equipped to deal with a range of paper materials—bound and unbound—that are typically found in libraries and archive collections. Recognizing the need for enhanced training for this specialty area, the Conservation Center, through funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has established a pilot program in the education and training of library and archive conservators beginning fall 2011, with the goal of admitting two students per year with this focus. The students will follow a targeted degree path which includes the general core conservation courses, as well as advanced and specialized training in library and archive conservation. Students in this track will have a wealth of practical training opportunities in collections around the country and internationally.
This collaborative program involves a number of partner institutions, including the Columbia University Libraries; the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University; and the Morgan Library and Museum. We are also working very closely with two other graduate conservation programs, the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) and the Buffalo State College Art Conservation Program (Buffalo State College), to maximize opportunities for sharing resources as we build a robust contingent of young professionals in library and archive conservation. For example, students from other graduate programs will be welcomed into a summer course on Historic Sewing Structures.