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The Fix: Behind the Scenes Help

Photo of Louise Crean working on restoring a book
Volunteer Louise Crean hard at work

Throughout the years, Smithsonian Libraries Preservation Department has been fortunate for the assistance of and grateful to our volunteers. Louise Crean is one such volunteer who has provided an extraordinary amount of help with General Collections Care since joining us two years ago.

Louise, a native of Liverpool, England, received her Fine Arts degree from the University of Lincoln.  She is an avid book collector with a growing number of rare first editions. Over the years Louise, with her husband David and their two daughters, has had the great opportunity to move throughout the United States and Europe, living in Chicago, Warsaw and the Hague, among other locations. David and Louise settled in Northern Virginia when David’s job with Mars Incorporated recently brought them back to the U.S.

With Louise’s daughters now being older and attending school in England, she looked toward opportunities in Washington that fulfilled her interests. It was the Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ good fortune that Louise chose the opportunity to work in its Book Conservation Lab by contacting the Smithsonian Volunteer program.   Louise remains enthusiastic when faced with a number of new challenges within bookbinding and conservation, and she very much appreciates the hands-on experience she receives from the SIL conservators.  Louise says of her work with the treatment of the SIL collection, “These are stepping stones; problem solving one day leads to another discovery and experience.”

— Vanessa Haight Smith, Head of Preservation Services Department, Smithsonian Libraries

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