The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 7, Number 4
Sep 1983


Education Offered in Many Forms

Librarians Learn in Texas

A group of libraries in the northern half of Texas are cooperating to carry on a conservation program, which just received a Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) grant for the second year in a row. Activities for both years have centered on education. The official announcement reads:

"The cooperative conservation program sponsored by the Library Committee of the Association for Higher Education of North Texas, plus the Dallas and Fort Worth public libraries, will receive a second year of LSCA funding in 1983/84 in the amount of $32,296. The first year's funding covered the costs of educating 18 representatives from the member libraries in the basics of preventive and corrective conservation. The second grant will provide for the development of 8 slide-tape teaching aids, with accompanying manuals, that the 18 participants may use in conducting individual workshops in their local areas for interested librarians and staff personnel.

"The slide-tape programs, which will be produced in conjunction with staff of the Humanities Research Center in Austin, Texas, will cover the following topics: paper mending; protective coverings (polyethylene book wraps, polyester book jackets, polyester encapsulation, clamshell boxes, phase boxes); simple hinge repair for leather books; simple binding; principles of display (cradle construction and matting of prints and documents); basic techniques, materials and equipment. Address inquiries to Mary Tigelaar, c/o AHE, P.O. Box 688, Richardson, TX 75080."

Photo Curators to Learn at NEDCC

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) will present a workshop on Conservation and Management of Photographic Collections, December 5-7, 1983, at the Addison Gallery, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. The workshop is supported in part by a grant from the National Museum Act.

Sessions presented by conservators, curators and archivists will cover identification of historic processes, causes of deterioration, storage, exhibition techniques, use by researchers, computerized cataloguing and video disc technology, copy methods, surveying collection needs, choosing a conservator and raising funds for conservation projects. Participants will be invited to bring sample photographs from their own collections to a clinic session.

The faculty will include Gary Albright, Photographic Conservator at NEDCC; Jose Orraca, Photographic Conservator in New York; James Reilly, Photographic Historian at the Rochester Institute of Technology; Deborah Hess Norris, Photographic Conservator at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts; and Robert Mayer, Director of the George Eastman House, among others.

Enrollment for the workshop is limited. Details about the program and registration information are available by writing to: Photographic Conservation Workshop, NEDCC, 24 School Street, Andover, MA 01810 (617/470-1010).

Internships for Administrators and Scientists

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant of $135,000 to the Library of Congress Preservation Office to support internships in preservation administration and preservation science over the next three years. [Similar grants, for internships in preservation administration only, were awarded to four other libraries in the following amounts: Columbia University, $75,000; NYPL, $75,000; Stanford University, $83,000; and Yale University, $80,000. Each grant is for use over a period of about three years.]

The LC internships will enable the Library to increase the level of activity in several areas affecting national preservation program development, while providing new preservation specialists with opportunities for advanced experience and training.

(More details in Positions Open section.)

Study Abroad for Bookbinders

The Hand Bookbinders of California devoted their meeting of July 26 to the subject of study abroad. A panel consisting of Dan Glaister, Johanna Goldschmid, Frank Novak, Stella Patri and Susan Wilson spoke about study in Paris, Ascona, Florence and London, and answered questions afterward.

AASLH Independent Study Program

The American Association for State and Local History offers six courses for historical agency personnel who cannot get the help they need from short-term seminars and workshops, and cannot afford the time and money for degree-oriented university courses. The courses are administered by mail from AASLH headquarters in Nashville, where trained instructors review and comment on completed assignments and help students tailor course activities to their individual needs and institutional settings. The courses are originally written by recognized national authorities: the course on Administering Historical Photograph Collections by Nancy E. Malan, archivist for the NARS Office of Public Programs and Exhibits; and the course on Documents, Interpretation and Exhibition by William K. Jones, curator of the Gerald N. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids. These are the only courses that seem to touch on conservation.

What makes this study program worth commenting on, however, is not its content, but its format and the professional approach it takes to the problem of providing educational opportunities in the middle ground between the weekend workshop and the university. The National Endowment for the Humanities can claim part of the credit for the program, because it provided support.

There is a brochure, available from AASLH at its new address, 708 Berry Road, Nashville, TN 37204 (tel. 615/ 383-5991) that describes the courses, lesson by lesson (there are about 10 per course). The introduction gives background information, part of which is quoted below:

"Anyone may enroll who is affiliated with a historical agency or similar cultural organization or has permission to use the facilities of such an institution in carrying out course assignments. By designating one person as correspondent with AASLH, students may also enroll in groups, of up to four, for a single fee. Institutions can take advantage of this ISP feature to train several staff members at once.

"Each course requires thirty to forty hours of study, and upon completion each student receives a certificate of achievement. Individuals completing the courses may elect to receive an appropriate number of Continuing Education Units. The CEU is a nationally accepted standard for acknowledging participation in a non-credit continuing education."

Patricia Hogan, director of the Independent Study Program, replied to a letter of inquiry about selection and evaluation of students, and records of their work, as follows:

"Selecting Students. Individuals who wish to enroll in a course must submit an application that provides us with information about their training and experiences in the course subject, their current position and responsibilities, and the institution for which they work or provide volunteer services.... When we receive an application and fee, a committee of three members of the ISP Program professional staff determine whether or not the applicant is qualified to participate in the program.

"Evaluation of Students. A student who is accepted, receives course materials and begins studying. Each course is divided into lessons and most lessons require the student to submit an assignment. The assignment is

evaluated by a program instructor who is an expert in the subject area of the course. The instructor sends a written evaluation of each assignment to the student.

"Records. We keep copies of all assignments submitted by a student, as well as a permanent record of all the courses a student takes, and of all the Continuing Education Units he or she earns."

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