A quarterly installment highlighting Library Conservation in the Brown University community, conservation news around the internet, and ways for you to connect with conservation.
Book and paper conservation [at Brown]
Forging the future of special collections. It’s a thriller, a romance, a dystopian journey, or anything else you want it to be. Read my review for the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation here.
In house treatment at the Hay
Materials from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection are going on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago next year, and will be a part of the inaugural exhibit for their new Deering Family Galleries of Medieval and Renaissance Art, Arms and Armor in March 2017. One of the items going on loan contains a rendition of a cat and a pigeon being propelled by rockets. Or, let’s try…being propelled by rockets! Items going out on loan require a lot of preparation from both the lending and borrowing institutions. Conservation contributions include a condition report, physical repair and stabilization, as well as requirements and fabrication of mounts for display, for each item. It is always a pleasure to work with institutions that are so committed to collections care and conservation; Brown is fortunate to be a part of this notable exhibition.
Find conservation online and in person
With the evolution of manuscript traditions comes the perpetuation of information. The idea for those rocket propelled animals pictured above may have first appeared in an early 15th century manuscript, before printing gained momentum in the west. Although the technology was available in the late 16th century when Brown’s manuscript was created, there is no evidence this information appears in print until the mid-17th century. The point is that the image and its related text does eventually appear in print, and fast forward to now, in this medium.
In her Forging the Future… contribution, E. Haven Hawley suggests, to paraphrase, that an object’s meaning materializes from its endurance. Hawley’s examination into the meaning of objects was the highlight of the book for me, as it helped me clearly identify the issue I think many libraries, especially special collections libraries continually face. How can special collections relate to historically ignored, as well as new, and evolving communities when the legacy of curating authorities only reinforces concepts of the past?
Bridging technologies of the book. More to come in March. Happy holidays!
-Rachel Lapkin, Library Materials Conservator