July (2018)– Miranda Clinton. I am a junior history major from North Carolina Central University and I have the opportunity of interning with the conservation division at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC for eight weeks. My love for reading, continual participation in my libraries, and learning new things is what spurred me into the interest of library science and library conservation.
Coming up from North Carolina, DC is huge step from the bustling people to the steady sounds of the street. It is fun finding my way around, both in the city and in the library and I am slowly getting the hang of it.
On my first day in the conservation lab, I was greeted with open arms and smiling faces. The entire division is kind and the atmosphere of the work space is very comforting.
My first project was helping the paper conservators in a lining removal and wet treatment of the “clown poster”, a poster from 1856 for a circus with five clowns on it. It was a fun experience being able to practice my hand skills in treating the paper with enzymes and washing the posters.
I also had the opportunity to attend digitization meetings, with other divisions, with a conservation representative, and take trips with the conservation team to the Geppi Entertainment Museum, the Library of Congress Cabin Branch warehouse and the Landover warehouse. Both the meetings and the Geppi Museum trip were great examples to see how the conservation division works with other divisions to plan for future projects and to ensure that materials are handled properly. The trips to the warehouses gave me insight into how supplies and collections are sorted and stored.
I am currently working on two projects, nineteenth century newspapers, and digitization prep for a food chart from 1918. These two projects help to strengthen my hand skills and I learn how to properly clean materials with the use of acrylic erasers, humidify paper, prepare materials for storage, and mend tears with different types of solvents and paste.
I want to thank the whole Library of Congress preservation and conservation team for welcoming me, the HBCU Library Alliance, the University of Delaware, and the Winterthur Museum for giving me this opportunity.
I cannot wait to see what I learn next!
Article shared by University of Delaware Department of Art Conservation