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