April 21-27 is Preservation Week! In honor of this event, we’ve featured preservation-related content on the Smithsonian Libraries’ blog as well as our other social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting a peek at preservation activities at the Smithsonian Libraries and beyond. Today we have few helpful links that might assist you in caring for your own books and collections! Continue reading
The conservation lab received, from the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library, a first edition of the first Bauhaus exhibition catalog: Staatliches Bauhaus, Weimar, 1919-1923. In addition to being a rare copy of this catalog, it is inscribed to the painter Werner Drewes by his Bauhaus teacher, Wassily Kandinsky.
The book was in disrepair with the covers detached. A spine “replacement” fashioned out of a piece of electrical tape had left tape residue on the Herbert Bayer designed cover. Additionally, the paper used for the catalog was highly acidic and discolored and the acidic clay coated plates were chipping. Continue reading
The Libraries welcomes Don Stankavage to the Preservation Services Department this summer as he completes his practicum requirement toward an MLIS at Catholic University.
Don, originally from Sidney, New York, received an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing at the State University of New York in New Paltz. Encouraged by his sister in Washington to relocate here, Don landed his first job with the Smithsonian Institution providing administrative support for the Office of Protective Services. In 2000 he changed course, and has since worked as a consultant for Lindamood-Bell, a center providing services to students with learning challenges.
Don is armed with a love for books and history (he collects translations of ancient Latin literature). He hopes to incorporate these disciplines and his experiences in paper and book repair in the Libraries’ conservation lab into a future library career, preferably as a rare book librarian.
“I practically lived in the library while in college, and have never forgotten it. I see library and preservation work as an extension of my current teaching job; providing access to information while creating and preserving materials for learning and scholarship. I enjoy the thought of keeping books and information alive.”
—Vanessa Haight Smith
Emmanuelle Couvert has joined the Libraries' book conservation lab for a three month internship. She is a 4th year student in the book conservation program at the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris.
Born in the south of France, Emmanuelle was inspired in a setting that promoted the arts and education. Her grandfather worked for UNESCO in Africa and collected many curious objects. Emmanuelle describes her house as a small natural history museum with collections of butterflies and insects, animal bones, and geological specimens. In addition, her mother was a painter and sculptor and through this influence Emmanuelle completed her university studies in the history of art at Le Mirail in Toulouse.
The natural path for many students of art history is continuing an education in the conservation of cultural property. Emmanuelle chose a very competitive program in Paris, where she was accepted (after a series of theoretical and practical exams) as one of two students in the book conservation program in 2007.
During her internship at the Libraries, Emmanuelle is working on the review, documentation, and treatment of 81 cataloged NYC Directories (dating from the late 18th century to the early 20th century) donated recently to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum Library. This provides a chance for her to assess and repair a large, well-used collection in preparation for digitization.
Once she receives her diploma next year, Emmanuelle hopes to find employment as a library conservator. Her particular interest is caring for collections in need, or that may be threatened, throughout the world.
—Vanessa Haight Smith
Carrie, presently enrolled as a MLIS student at Catholic University is expecting to graduate in December of 2010. Her long-standing interest in literature and books, as demonstrated by her undergraduate studies at the College of William and Mary, has lead to her goal of rare book and manuscript librarianship.
Carrie has pursued both work and educational opportunities that support her desire for a rare books career. Most recent is her participation in various projects with the Maryland State Archives, including practical work in their conservation lab.
The opportunity to work with the Dibner Library's collection of manuscripts and rare books is what drew Carrie to apply for the internship. Her duties so far have included unboxing and organizing Dibner transfer materials from other Libraries collections. Included are 19th century scientific journals that, once sorted, will be shelved with the existing journal collections. Carrie also spends one day a week in the Book Conservation Lab where she is creating book and manuscript supports for exhibitions, and various types of enclosures for the wide range of materials within Libraries collections.
While Carrie wishes to pursue a career in rare books and preservation, she is an advocate for access through digitization. She states, "I believe in the importance to have information and content available to researchers through digitization. In turn, this protects the bibliographic integrity of the physical object as it's handled less frequently."
In addition to her internship at the Libraries, Carrie works as an amateur costume designer with Spirited Productions in Annapolis. She is engaged to be married in May 2011. Her fiancé, Alex, is working toward an academic career in the Humanities.