The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 6
Nov 1992


Pickwoad and Morse are Harvard's New Conservators

Two new positions have been established in Harvard's preservation program to allow the libraries to expand their capability to provide expert conservation treatment for rare materials and special collections. Dr. Nicholas Pickwoad was appointed in October to the position of Chief Conservator in the Harvard University Library and in the Harvard College Library. He was joined in November by Elizabeth Morse, appointed Assistant Conservator in the Harvard College Library. To launch its expanded artifact conservation program, the University Library has leased the 2400 square foot Conservation Laboratory in the Massachusetts State Archives at Columbia Point. Funding for the first three years of the program was provided by the Malloy-Rabinowitz families. During the Fund Drive, Harvard will seek funding to build its own conservation laboratory closer to the collections.

Dr. Pickwoad brings to Harvard a wealth of knowledge and experience and a record of excellence in the conservation of rare books and manuscripts. After receiving a doctorate in English literature from Oxford University, Dr. Pickwoad studied with renowned English bookbinder Roger Powell. In addition to more than 14 years of conservation treatment experience, Dr. Pickwoad has a distinguished record of teaching, research, and scholarship. His accomplishments include serving as advisor to the National Trust on book conservation; conservation consultant to the Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; editor of the Paper Conservator, journal of the Institute of Paper Conservation; lecturer on the History of European Bookbinding 15001800, Columbia University Rare Book School; and over the last two years, Visiting Professor in the Conservation Education Programs, Columbia University, School of Library Service. He has a particular interest in the history of binding and the contribution it can make to our understanding of books, readers, and the booktrade.

Elizabeth Morse comes to Harvard from the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, where she was the Conservator of Paper for five years. She holds a Master of Fine Arts specializing in museology from Syracuse University and a Master of Science in the Conservation of Library and Archival Materials from Columbia University. Ms. Morse has extensive experience in the physical treatment of archives and special collections materials--such as architectural drawings, theater posters, log books, and photographs--as well as expertise in evaluating the conservation needs of large special collections. In addition, Ms. Morse has been actively involved in developing grant projects, teaching seminars, and providing training for interns.

The Harvard library collections contain many materials prized for their artifactual and historic value. When combined with efforts already underway at Harvard, these new positions will significantly strengthen the library's ability to preserve the collections and to protect materials during storage, use and exhibition.

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