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HBCU Library Alliance Preservation Internship Program Progress Report – June 22, 2018

Internship Start Dates

APS Layla Huff  June 18
Duke University Phebe Pankey  June 11
Harry Ransom Center  Alicia Bush June 11
Library of Congress Miranda Clinton June 11
Winterthur John Davies June 18
Yale University Erin Matthews  June 4

Layla Huff: American Philosophical Society Library (APS)
(photos will be available next progress report)

During her first week at the American Philosophical Society Library, Layla Huff was teamed up with Native American Scholar summer interns for an introduction to the institution and Philadelphia. In addition to tours, the interns were introduced to archives work under the tutelage of Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, Program Director for Native American Scholars Initiative, and Brian Carpenter, Curator of Native American Materials. Layla’s supervisors, Head of Conservation Anne Downey and Book Conservator Renee Wolcott, led the interns in care and handling training. Layla also toured the library collections with prints curator David Gary, with whom she developed a fast rapport. She reviewed potential summer projects with her supervisors, and learned how to use some of the most commonly used equipment in the conservation lab, such as the board shears.

Phebe Pankey: Duke University Library
During her first week, Phebe Pankey settled in and started picking up new skills very quickly. She and supervisor Beth Doyle dove right in to high-level discussions about the differences between preservation and conservation, and the various functions of those departments. Phebe shadowed Beth through the pick-up and sorting process for items coming from circulating collections; she also learned to make four-flap boxes, cut pages, humidify and flatten rolled items (see photo), and make CoLibri covers. In week two, she has started to learn paper repair to prepare items for digital imaging, and this hands-on training has been supplemented with a discussion of various methods and adhesives. Phebe also shadowed the Senior Rare Book Conservator, Erin Hammeke, on the pick-up of special collections materials. Beth has arranged both internal and external tours for Phebe, as well. 

Phebe Pankey learns to humidify and flatten rolled documents using a passive humidity chamber at Duke University Library.

Rare Book Conservator Henry Hebert wrote this blog post about Phebe’s first week for the Duke University Libraries “Preservation Underground” blog: https://blogs.library.duke.edu/...

Alicia Bush: Harry Ransom Center, UT Austin
Alicia Bush started her first week with a tour of the Ransom Center and an overview of the field of preservation/conservation.  She assisted with a rehousing project for the David O. Selznick archives story boards (for film productions), and began working on a rehousing project for the Theatre Guild Archives. She met with a number of people in the Ransom Center for 1-2 hour introductions to their work: Dr. Eric Colleary, Theatre and Performing Arts Curator (including an exciting tour of his collections); Dr. Steve Enniss, Director; and Cathy Henderson, Assoc. Director for Exhibitions and Education. Alicia and her supervisor Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa enjoyed lunch with and a tour of exhibits by colleagues from UT Austin's Black Studies and the Warfield Center Art Galleries. 
During her second week, Alicia participated in an "all staff" Ransom Center meeting to learn about updates to the institution’s strategic plan, and attended the HRC Book Club, which she is considering joining.  She participated in a care and handling class demonstration for a faculty member and his students.  Then, she headed to Houston with four other staff members to take part in FAIC's Heritage Responders training, about which she is very enthusiastic.  She also continues to work on the Theatre Guild Archives rehousing project--which is her touchstone project for the summer. 
Alicia Bush learns to sew a book in the Book Conservation Lab at the Harry Ransom Center, UT Austin.

Miranda Clinton: Library of Congress
Miranda Clinton has started work on several projects in the Conservation Division at the Library of Congress. She began working with a conservator on the assessment and rehousing of several early 19th century newspapers. She was introduced to the workflow for preparing special collections materials for digitization, and started learning basic surface cleaning and mending techniques to treat these materials, including making pre-coated mending tissue. Miranda also assisted a team of conservators and technicians with the aqueous washing and enzyme treatment of an oversized circus poster. Finally, she participated in a site visit to assess a future acquisition to help determine packing, transportation, and housing needs.
Miranda Clinton prepares 19th century newspapers for rehousing at Library of Congress.

John Davies: Winterthur
During John Davies’ first week at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, he toured the many specialty labs which comprise the Conservation Department, visited the Historical Book Structures Practicum course taking place at Winterthur to see and learn about the graduate students’ bookbinding projects, and met the five HBCU students (one of whom he knows from Fisk University!) in the intensive, three-week “TIPC” internship in the Paintings Conservation Lab which involves conservation work on a Tuskegee diorama. He completed intensive training in the care and handling of objects, textiles, paintings, works of art on paper, books, and furniture. Working with another summer intern from the University of Delaware, John learned about exhibit preparation for bound materials, and constructed book cradles for the upcoming Chippendale 300th Anniversary exhibit. He also shadowed supervisor Melissa Tedone on the deinstallation of the Honus Wagner baseball card exhibit, during which he met Collections Manager (and courier) Colleen Grant from the New York Public Library, as well as Registration and Art Handler staff at Winterthur.
During his second week, John will attend a Collections Emergency Planning drill, and an institution-wide strategic planning session under the leadership of Winterthur’s new Director, Carol Cadou. John and the TIPC interns will attend a hands-on paper marbling workshop taught by site supervisor Melissa Tedone. John will also begin work on his summer touchstone project, treating historical wallpaper fragments from the Dennis Family Farm in PA, arguably the oldest farm in the United States owned continuously by a free Black family.
John Davies shows off his first rare book exhibit cradle, which will be used in an upcoming exhibit at Winterthur commemorating Chippendale’s 300th anniversary; John Davies lunches in the Ottoman Tent Folly at Winterthur with UD summer intern Nova Sturchio and Winterthur librarian Laura Parrish.

Erin Matthews: Yale University 
Erin Matthews started her first week at Yale by sitting in on a Conservation Department staff meeting which introduced her to the many different aspects of the department’s functions. She learned about light fading as she assisted conservators and technicians monitoring the colors on works of art prints that will be going on exhibit from the Lewis Walpole Library.  She also completed some reading assignments related to light and fading to supplement her hands-on experience.  Erin then worked on creating “Mylboards,” polyester sleeves attached to matboard used to house photographic prints.  She also worked with Conservator Laura Miller on creating micrographs of leather samples for Yale’s Traveling Scriptorium blog (see photo).
During her second week at Yale, Erin learned about the importance of enclosures for protecting collection material. She measured general collections books for boxes, and then shadowed Werner Haun to learn how the Kasemake machine is used to create the boxes.  Erin made Colibri covers for Yale Authors books from the Manuscripts and Archives Department (MSSA).  She also attended the monthly conservation review at MSSA with Werner and got a tour of the newly renovated reading room and special collections classroom.  Erin assisted conservators with Rare Book School class sessions using the Traveling Scriptorium, and made her first single quire codex bookbinding. 
Erin Matthews learns how to create micrographs of leather samples at Yale University Library. These micrographs will be used on Yale’s Traveling Scriptorium blog. 

Now in her third week, Erin is assisting exhibits program manager Kerri Sancomb with a deinstallation of an exhibit as well as an installation in the Memorabilia Room at Sterling Memorial Library.  Erin also brought her visiting parents and sisters to the lab so they could see where she is working. 
The Yale Library is hosting a number of interns this summer from a New Haven program called New Haven Promise, most of whom are also undergraduates.  Erin and her supervisor, Christine McCarthy, have attended two intern welcome sessions – one at the Beinecke Library and one hosted by the Center for Science and Social Science Information – which are intended to help the interns develop a strong peer network at Yale.