Kimberly Norman, Head of Library Conservation, Emory University; William Minter, Senior Book Conservator, and Sue Kellerman, Judith O. Sieg Chair for Preservation, The Pennsylvania State University Libraries; Bryan Draper, Special Collections Conservator, Hornbake Library
The Preservation, Conservation, & Digitization Department at Penn State University has been located in a small space within the central core of the Pattee Library on the University Park campus. When the conservation section was added in 2008, space was limited. Thereafter, conservation found two small rooms at an off-campus building where minor treatments could be done. In 2014, a challenge grant from the Mellon Foundation was matched by a donor, and a full-time Senior Book Conservator was hired. Since 2014, the conservation lab has undergone numerous design changes at various locations. This year, our Conservation Centre and the Libraries’ Bindery section moved into a newly renovated building. This off-campus facility also houses some special collections materials. We are fortunate for the support from the University Libraries to have a state-of-the-art facility with space and equipment to handle the needs of the collections. Our current staff is five with sufficient space for more. This new work space has natural light with height-adjustable workbenches. We incorporated a number of unique features, such as a central vacuum system. As a versatile space for outreach, we can also conduct preservation workshops and seminars for local historical organizations.
The Preservation Department of the University of Maryland Libraries is located in the basement of McKeldin Library, the main library on the College Park campus. The treatment lab was designed in 1994 for large-scale general collections preservation, performed by student assistants supervised by two full-time staff. By 2009, a new conservator and department head were hired. The emphasis of the program shifted to care and conservation of special collections material. By 2012, the department staffing level was drastically reduced. Since 2010, department staff have worked with the Libraries and University to plan the department move to the Hornbake Library, which houses most of the special collections and the university archives. The Libraries await approval to begin necessary renovations of the Hornbake space. As an interim measure, Preservation presented a plan to purchase new work benches and furniture, re-envisioning its current space to better serve the needs of the collections. This coincided with a Libraries-wide upgrade to lighting systems, resulting in a refreshed and functional work space.
The Emory University Preservation Office and Conservation Lab is located on the first floor of Woodruff Library, the main library at Emory. Conservators on staff provide treatment for all Emory Libraries collections. All conservation work is performed by four full-time staff members and students assistants. In 1998, the Conservation Lab was renovated with a library expansion and slightly increased again in 2004. Updated equipment was added to better treat the circulating and special collections. Now twenty years later, the Preservation Office worked with Emory Libraries administrators for the department’s future as part of a larger strategic plan. This will require years to realize. As an interim measure, stakeholders agreed to immediately update the Lab, redesign its footprint, improve efficiencies, and reorganize the workflow.