[Table of Contents] [Search]


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[BKARTS] PROGRAM TO SERVE AS RESEARCH CATALYST FOR CONSERVING THE NATION'S CULTURAL HERITAGE MATERIALS



THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
OFFICE OF NEWS AND INFORMATION
901 S. Bond Street/Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland  21231



February 18, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JOHNS HOPKINS MEDIA CONTACT: Pamela Higgins

410-516-8337
Pamela.higgins@xxxxxxx<mailto:Pamela.higgins@xxxxxxx>

PROGRAM TO SERVE AS RESEARCH CATALYST FOR
            CONSERVING THE NATION'S CULTURAL HERITAGE MATERIALS

The Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries have been awarded $792,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch a pilot program for post-doctoral fellows in heritage conservation science. Two heritage conservation fellows will be selected each year in an international competition to address a vetted scientific research agenda during the two and a half-year initiative, based in the Libraries' conservation and preservation department.

The program will provide opportunities for the research fellows to collaborate with faculty and students in the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering's department of materials science, the Johns Hopkins Museums, and area institutions such as historical societies. Their investigations will emphasize research relevant to materials in libraries, archives, and other cultural heritage organizations.

For twenty years, libraries, archives and granting agencies have focused attention and resources on collection care and mass preventive action, such as environmental controls. While this approach has proven effective, it has not afforded the opportunity for studies in materials science that would inform specific conservation treatments and techniques.

"The Sheridan Libraries' conservation program was the first in the country to offer apprenticeships and internships to train conservators at the bench," said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums at Johns Hopkins. "It is particularly fitting that at a research intensive university like Hopkins we will now have the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues at the Whiting School-not only to generate a new body of research, but also to invigorate and sustain the profession."

The creation of the post-doctoral fellows program was one of the recommendations of a group of 23 internationally recognized conservators and applied research scientists, convened in April 2008, to develop a detailed set of specific proposals to address the research/development activities needed to conserve the nation's book and paper materials. An integral part of the conservation fellows' research agenda will be engaging industry partners. "Conservators are dependent upon the products industry provides to conduct conservation treatment," said Sophia Jordan-Mowery, the Joseph Ruzicka and Marie Ruzicka Feldmann Director of Library Conservation and Preservation, and principal investigator for the project. "Yet industrial products, their formulations, and their applications are judged by how well they serve the conservator's needs. Engaging industry in the entire chain of production and application will serve both the market and the cultural heritage organizations," Jordan-Mowery said.

William Minter, principal of Bookbinding and Conservation, Inc., will serve as the senior project conservator. An internationally recognized conservator of heritage collections for many U.S. libraries, museums, and archives, he has successfully merged the roles of conservator, inventor, and scientist.

More than thirty years ago, Minter pioneered and developed the ultrasonic welder for the encapsulation of brittle and otherwise endangered documents and art materials. Now considered standard equipment in conservation labs, nearly 200 encapsulation machines are used for preservation at institutions around the world. Minter has also conducted independent testing and review of conservation treatments, evaluated long-term performance of industry products used by conservators, and re-examined earlier research to determine the validity of testing and research models.

An advisory board chaired by Jordan-Mowery and comprising experts from academic, conservation, scientific, and industry sectors, will set the strategic agenda for research and solicit calls for proposals from the scientific community. Board members include William Minter, Jonah Erlebacher, associate professor in materials science engineering at Johns Hopkins, Nels Olson, an analytical chemist and former chief of the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Library of Congress, and David Grattan, manager of conservation research services at the Canadian Conservation Institute. The board will review fellowship applications and recommend awards beginning this spring for project initiation in the fall of 2009.
###


Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news

Information on automatic E-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.

Sonja K. Jordan-Mowery
Joseph Ruzicka & Marie Ruzicka Feldman
Director of Library Conservation and Preservation
Johns Hopkins University
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2683
Voice:  410-516-4383

***********************************************
Please note that attachments to listserv messages are not permitted,
and are automatically removed by the listserver.
For all your subscription questions, go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information.
***********************************************



[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]

 [CoOL]

Search BookArts Archives

This page last changed: May 19, 2009