The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 10, Number 4
Aug 1986


Johns Hopkins to Offer Training in Basic Care & Treatment

The Milton S. Eisenhower Library of Johns Hopkins University has received $204,000 from the Mellon Foundation to provide a program of preservation education to academic and research libraries throughout the country.

While basically a continuation of an earlier successful Mellon grant (1982-85), this new three-year program will build upon that experience in two significant ways. First, the Paper Conservator will be more involved, dealing with the special problems of paper conservation, whether in books or in flat works. Second, the Library will produce instructional videotapes, enabling the staff of libraries and archives across the country to learn and implement sound, economical preservation techniques quite inexpensively.

Specifically, the program consists of four distinct elements designed to meet different levels and kinds of need. First, the Library will offer four workshops per year, generally of two days' duration, to allow adequate opportunity for hands-on work. Two types of workshops will be provided--a general workshop aimed at principles, organization, decision-making, and basic practices dealing primarily with book structures; and a more specialized workshop concerned primarily with flat works on paper and paper conservation issues. All demonstrations will be supplemented by a series of manual guides. These two types of workshops will allow the Library to target the needs of both libraries and archives.

Second, the videotape series will concentrate on the demonstration of basic conservation techniques used in structural reinforcement of paperbacks; pamphlet cases; repair of damaged books; basic paper cleaning and mending; encapsulation; and simple protective enclosures. Printed manual guides will accompany all tapes. The tapes will be available for purchase on a handling and reproduction cost-recovery basis and will be offered in three formats: VHS, Beta, and U-Matic.

Third, the Library will offer six consultancies per year to provide on-site guidance to libraries and archives wishing to establish preservation work areas [ conservation-oriented repair shops? - Ed.] and to help assess needs, identify priorities, and advise on courses of action.

Fourth, two four-month internships per year will be conducted, consisting of three months working with book structures and one month in the paper conservation lab. Interns will receive intensive training in preservation techniques and yet will have some flexibility in tailoring the program to meet specific needs.

Under the terms of the Mellon Foundation grant the workshops, consultancies and internships will be available to libraries at no cost for services rendered. Only travel and related expenses for Hopkins staff must be borne by the requesting institution. It is expected that the workshops and consultancies will be available in the fall of 1986, that the internship program will run March-June and September-December beginning next spring, and that the videotapes will be ready for purchase in the spring of 1987.

Libraries with an interest in these activities should contact Dr. Susan K. Martin, Director, or Mr. Glen Ruzicka, Head, Collections Maintenance Department, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218.

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