The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 24, Number 4
Dec 2000


News from Preservation & Conservation Studies, Texas

The eleven-member Advisory Committee for the Preservation and Conservation Studies program met on May 11-12 in Austin, and Gary Frost (a member of the Committee) provided a written report for the Abbey Newsletter, which is summarized below.

The principles established by Paul Banks, founder of the program, were reaffirmed: separate tracks for preservation and conservation students, and the MLS requirement for all students.

They discussed the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) core curriculum, which is being revised to include new information technology, and evaluated current trends in the conservation and preservation fields. The Committee found the new GSLIS core curriculum exciting, but were concerned that the new curriculum did not provide sufficient emphasis on the preservation function as a fundamental component of library and information science.

In the discussion of trends, Committee members confirmed the continuing emphasis on technical understanding of the full range of materials in library collections. They also emphasized that management studies should grow within the PCS program. The need for increased management studies was spelled out in the "Preservation and Conservation Studies Program, 1999 Survey" conducted by Paula DeStefano, March 2000, which was distributed to the Committee.

Sally Buchanan, Committee member, mentioned the increased emphasis on management studies for preservation education at the library school of the University of Pittsburgh. She also offered observations on other trends including the need for a hybrid curatorial and preservation practice, the need for continuing education of working preservation officers, greater utilization of distance learning technologies, and the need for emphasis on preparation and placement of students in the for-profit sector.

David Gracy's appointment as Director of the "Center for the Cultural Record" was announced. This Center will be the administrative umbrella for an integration of PCS with GSLIS Archival Studies and the anthropology-based Museum Studies. It will also provide a platform for fundraising. George Farr of the National Endowment for the Humanities also reported on higher level UT meetings that he had arranged to discuss scenarios for permanent, endowed support for the PCS.


Since last May, the news is that the Center for the Cultural Record has issued an eight-page e-newsletter, edited by David Gracy. Its title is "Electronic Newsletter for Alumnae of Conservation Program (Columbia) [and] Preservation and Conservation Studies (Texas)." To be put on the mailing list, call Ann Seago at 512/471-8290.

In the November issue, the first to appear, some of the news items are:

Director's Position and the Center for the Cultural Record

Faculty: New in fall: Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa, Paul Wilson and Priscilla Spitler. New in Spring 2001: Consuela "Chela" Metzger and Patricia K. Galloway. Continuing faculty: Karen Pavelka and Hal Erickson.

Curriculum: More time given to issues in administration of conservation and preservation programs. Inclusion of one required course and additional elective courses on preservation in the digital environment; the addition of preservation courses on reformatting and nonprint media, and structuring the classes to allow more contact between students of successive years, and different concentrations.

Students (seven are listed: 3 interns, 2 new grads, 3 continuing students, and 7 new students)

Recruiting Students

20th Anniversary (next year)

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