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Online Course Instructor, Issues in Conserving Archive
Collections, Library and Archives Conservation Education (LACE) Consortium.

The Library and Archives Conservation Education (LACE) Consortium welcomes applications for development of an online course on issues in conserving archive collections, to be offered Spring 2019, and repeated Spring 2021, and Spring 2023. A competitive honorarium will be offered.

The development of this course and the LACE Consortium at the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, The Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, and the Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State are funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to further the education of library and archives conservators within the three comprehensive U.S. graduate programs in conservation of cultural materials.

Archive collections present unique conservation challenges because of the manner in which they are collected, managed, and used. They are frequently large and contain highly diverse materials and media, including physical and increasing numbers of digital records. This seminar will introduce conservation graduate students to the fundamentals of archival theory and practice, contrasting it with library and museum practices. Students will learn the influence of collection, appraisal, arrangement, and description on conservation decisions and overall collection preservation.

Course Objectives:

1. Become familiar with archival fundamentals such as acquisition, appraisal, processing, and description of collections, both physical and digital.

2. Learn how preservation procedures are integrated into archival processing, arrangement, and description.

3. Recognize the differences in mission, audience, and scale between archives, libraries, and museums.

4. Identify conservation/preservation challenges inherent in collections of mixed materials.

5. Understand the sometimes-conflicting priorities of conserving archive materials, preserving historical evidence, and ensuring continued access.

6.  Develop strategies for scaling up proposed conservation treatments to collection-level projects.

The target audience for this course is an inter-program cohort of Master’s level graduate students specializing in library and archives conservation. The course should include four online lectures and a culminating instructor-led videoconference discussion. Within this framework, we welcome innovative approaches to the format of instruction. Similar successful online courses have included advance reading assignments for PowerPoint-based lectures, accompanying audio commentary, bibliographies of links and further references, and self-test questions/assignments. However, the instructor will have considerable leeway in structuring lectures, presentations, and assignments.

Applicants must have a Master's level degree in conservation, library science or a related field.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Theresa J. Smith, smithtj@buffalostate.eduby May 21, 2018. Applicants should be prepared to provide a draft outline of lecture topics with a description of the course format upon request. 


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Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Rockwell Hall 230 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5025 •  Fax: (716) 878-5039