Conservator’s Log: New Faces in the Lab

The spring semester brought two new faces into the conservation lab. I hired Joshua Rosenfeld ’13 as a conservation assistant and Becky Koch as a conservation intern. Each brought special talents to the lab and accomplished a great deal of work.

Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies (PR 5054 .I8 1846 Irish)

Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies, PR5054 .I8 1846 Irish.

Josh is a Boston College junior, majoring in History. He interned at the American Antiquarian Society where his work experience included handling fragile rare books and documents, so he easily fit into the lab as a conservation assistant trainee. While at the AAS, Josh oversaw their digitization process and inspected documents for conversion errors, this expertise is helpful for the Burns Library as we move forward with multiple digital projects. Josh embraces the Boston College motto, “Men and Women for Others,” by volunteering for the Heifer Project. Their mission is to bring sustainable third world economic growth to individual families through productive livestock.

Josh adjusts the  Nilfisk vacuum

Josh adjusts the Nilfisk vacuum

Josh has contributed to the lab in a variety ways: attaching book plates, treating leather, preparing exhibit supports, and assisting in exhibit installation. Josh is pictured above working on the leather binding of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies.  In the second image you see him assembling our new Nilfisk vacuum cleaner. This model vacuum has variable speed control making it an ideal tool for gently surface cleaning fragile books and documents.

Becky came from the Bookbinding Program at North Bennet Street School with the intent of practicing her bookbinding skills in a conservation environment. She has taken on interesting and challenging repair projects over the semester. Before coming to the Burns Library, she had completed a summer internship in the Magill Library conservation lab at Haverford College. While a student at the University of Delaware, she worked in the conservation lab at the Hagley Museum and in the Winterthur Museum library conservation department. Becky had three majors in college: Art Conservation, Art History, and History. She is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta history honors society. In addition to having extensive conservation training, Becky is a skilled bookbinder. She currently has a design binding showing in Horizons, the Guild of Book Workers national exhibit.

"Becky with Exhibit Supports"

Becky with Exhibit Supports

While working in the Burns Library conservation lab she completed a number of projects including: surface cleaning two 16th century pigskin covered books, making a number of preservation enclosures, doing leather treatments, and assisting with exhibits. You see two pictures associated with Becky’s work: in one she assesses book supports for exhibition. The other is a close-up in process view of a surface cleaning of one of our significant Jesuit imprints that shows the difference her work made: you can see that the left side of the book has been cleaned and looks brighter than the right side.  Becky cleaned this blind-stamped pigskin covered book from our Jesuitica collection because it is going to be displayed in the upcoming exhibit Tragic Couple: Encounters between Jews and Jesuits.

Commentaria in omnes Divi Pavli Epistolas, British Catholic Authors BS 2649 .L36 1656

Commentaria in omnes Divi Pavli Epistolas, BS 2649 .L36 1656 Jesuitica Oversize.

I will miss their assistance in the lab this summer. Becky has graduated from the North Bennet Street School and will start an internship at Dartmouth College. Josh will be working at the Center for Christian and Jewish Learning here at Boston College, and will return in the fall to help out in the lab.

BBarbara Adams Hebard, Conservator, John J. Burns Libraryarbara Adams Hebard, Conservator

About John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College

The University’s special collections, including the University’s Archives, are housed in the Honorable John J. Burns Library, located in the Bapst Library Building, north entrance. Burns Library staff work with students and faculty to support learning and teaching at Boston College, offering access to unique primary sources through instruction sessions, exhibits, and programming. The Burns Library also serves the research needs of external scholars, hosting researchers from around the globe interested in using the collections. The Burns Library is home to more than 200,000 volumes and over 700 manuscript collections, including holdings of music, photographic materials, art and artifacts, and ephemera. Though its collections cover virtually the entire spectrum of human knowledge, the Burns Library has achieved international recognition in several specific areas of research, most notably: Irish studies; British Catholic authors; Jesuitica; Fine printing; Catholic liturgy and life in America, 1925-1975; Boston history; the Caribbean, especially Jamaica; Nursing; and Congressional archives.
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One Response to Conservator’s Log: New Faces in the Lab

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