Under Covers: The Art and Science of Book Conservation
The John Crerar Library -- Atrium
March 26 - October 11, 2013
Conservators at the University of Chicago Library keep collections safe and intact for future scholars by combining traditional craft with a knowledge of current research on processes of deterioration. Under Covers: The Art and Science of Book Conservation reveals the techniques conservators use to preserve and repair materials in the state-of-the-art Conservation Laboratory in the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. The exhibit explores issues affecting modern and older library materials and shows conservators employing the newest scientific rese4a4rch in their work. An associated web exhibit is available here.
Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship for Summer 2013
Applications for the 2013 Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship are now closed.
The mission of the Preservation Department is to ensure that information resources collected in support of research, teaching and learning at the University of Chicago remain available for long-term use.
The Preservation Department is responsible for a Library-wide program for the care of collections in all formats. It consists of three units: Binding & Shelf Preparation, Conservation, and Digitization. Services include commercial binding, rebinding and rehousing of materials, in-house conservation treatment, preparation of materials for circulation including labeling and attaching security strips, and in-house and vended digitization of a wide variety of library collections. The Preservation Department also engages in emergency planning and preparedness, provides staff and user education, and consults on a wide range of preservation, conservation and digitization issues.
The Preservation Department was established in 1985, bringing together previously distributed preservation activities under one administrative unit. In 1994, the Photoduplication Laboratory, in existence since the 1930s, was closed and gradually replaced by digitization as the Library's preferred method of preserving and reproducing collections. The Digitization Program has grown considerably and now includes the digitization of both paper-based and media collections. In 2001, the Library received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation challenge grant to build an endowment for conservation. In 2005, the Library hired its first Head of Conservation and began expanding its capabilities to provide in-house treatment for both general and special collections materials. A Library reorganization in 2008 combined Library Binding with Shelf Preparation activities into one unit under the Preservation Department. In March of 2011, Preservation moved to new expanded quarters in the Joe & Rika Mansueto Library with the Library's first purpose-built Conservation Laboratory and Digitization facility.