Acquiring and Developing an Offsite High Density Collections Storage Facility
In addition to operating state-of-the art preservation quality storage facilities at Ft. Meade, the Library operates a rental property which meets its needs for interim storage. This webinar discusses the Librarys experience in acquiring and developing this facility. Cabin Branch (located in Landover, Md.) shows a way to control costs without compromising on collections care. The webinar will explain how the Library of Congress...
Herman, Steve - Roache, Rohn - Lev-Alexander, Nancy
Preserving Omar Ibn Said's Words: A Slave Narrative
The Library has preserved, digitized and made facsimile copies of "The Life of Omar Ibn Said," the only known extant narrative written in Arabic by an enslaved person in the United States. In 1831, Omar Ibn Said, a wealthy and highly educated man who was captured in West Africa and brought to the United States as a slave, wrote a 15-page autobiography describing his...
Engaging Our Veterans to Preserve Their Histories
Staff of the Library's Veterans History Project and Preservation Directorate discuss how the Library collects, preserves, and makes accessible the first-hand accounts American veterans so that future generations may better understand the realities of war.
Telford, Rachel - Nadal, Jacob - Edwards, Gwenanne - Lloyd, Karen - Evers, Jennifer
Science Meets Music: Technical Studies of Musical Instruments
Technical studies of historical musical instruments remain relatively uncommon in the field of cultural heritage. This program features recent in-depth studies that serve as models of collaborations among curators, conservators and cultural heritage scientists in the field of musical studies. As part of a National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) Preservation and Access Grant-funded, collaborative research project involving the Library of Congress, the Catholic...
The Hidden Value of Early Photographic Technology Manuals: Mapping the Genome of 19th Century Photography
From daguerreotype plates to silver gelatin papers, 19th-century manufacturers supplied photographers with materials to produce photographic images. But because so few of these papers are identifiable, the history of these manufacturers and their materials are untraceable and virtually unknown. Within the Library of Congress' vast holdings of photographic technology manuals, original 19th-century samples of identified photographic papers survive. Senior Photographic Conservator Adrienne Lundgren discusses...
Conservation of the Emily Howland Album
Library conservators discuss their work on the Emily Howland Album, containing 48 rare photographs dating to the 1860s -- including a previously unrecorded portrait of Harriet Tubman and images of other abolitionists -- which was conserved and digitized by the Library and will be exhibited for the first time at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2018.
Chipman, Alisha - Evers, Jennifer
Digital Restoration Initiative: Reading the Invisible Library
Progress over the past decade in the digitization and analysis of text found in cultural objects (inscriptions, manuscripts, scrolls) has led to new methods for reading inaccessible text due to condition, the "invisible library." W. Brent Seales explains the development of non-invasive methods for revealing hidden or inaccessible text, showing results from text restoration projects on Homeric manuscripts, Herculaneum material and Dead Sea scrolls....
Seales, W. Brent
A Mold Outbreak in Tbilisi, Georgia: Technical and Interpersonal Challenges
Randy Silverman discussed how the Tbilisi State University Library experienced a 15-year mold event that damaged 80,000 rare western books. Blue Shield Georgia's successful Cultural Emergency Response grant from the Prince Claus Fund (Amsterdam) supported a 10-day onsite assessment of the problem in January 2017. The consultant assembled conservators, the building's original architect, a preservation architect, and an air conditioning (HVAC) engineer to determine...
In Situ Studies of Tidelines on Paper
Rachel Obbard discusses Tidelines, or staining produced by wetting, mar the appearance of and weaken paper, which predisposes the paper to further damage. This talk highlighted findings from research that utilizes existing technologies to improve our understanding of tidelines on historical documents, books, and artworks on paper. This collaboration of Dartmouth College, the Library of Congress and the Metropolitan Museum of Art is part...
Tracking the Provenance of Printing in Afghanistan (1871-78)
Elham Bakhtary investigated the lithographs' literary influences and argued that the lithographs espoused a unique ethno-Islamic ideology that challenged the substance of Islamic revivalism in India, but also employed the latter's technological and discursive methods in doing so. The lecture concluded with how this similarity suggests that ideas and print technology in South Asia traveled along similar itineraries in the 19th century.
Centuries of Cellulose: Lessons Learned from the Molecular Analysis of Cellulose in Aged Paper Collections
Andrew Davis discussed the work of 20th-centry paper chemist William J. Barrow, whoundertook an ambitious study of 1,000 books printed from the 16th through 20th centuries, meticulously measuring their chemical and physical properties and offering systematic predictions of paper aging and permanence. These same test books now reside in the Center for the Library's Analytical Scientific Samples in the Library of Congress. This talk...
Eric Monroe discusses the nature of damage to early wax cylinder audio recordings during storage.
Open Arms: Expanding the Cultural Emergency Preparedness Community
The Library of Congress celebrates Preservation Week with this lecture as the IFLA PAC (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions - Preservation and Conservation) center for the U.S.A. and Canada. This presentation presented details on a variety of new initiatives that are working to broaden cooperation in disaster planning and recovery.
From Words to Diagrams: Visualization of Historical Bookbinding
Alberto Campagnolo discusses an automated visualization of historical bookbinding structures. Researchers use both images (pictures and drawings) and verbal descriptions (words) to document artifacts. In the last few decades, the recording and management of documentation data about material objects, including bookbindings, has switched from paper-based archives to databases, but sketches and diagrams are a form of documentation still carried out mostly by hand. Diagrams...
Medieval Medicine for Modern Infections
Erin Connelly discussed her research involving the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, combined with a severely stalled discovery pipeline for new antibiotics.
Cultural Heritage & Data (morning session)
This international symposium aims at celebrating the outcomes of the transatlantic dialogue in the Heritage Sciences, the scientific cross-cutting domain embracing a wide range of research disciplines supporting various aspects of tangible and intangible cultural heritage conservation, interpretation, and management. (Morning Session)
Cultural Heritage & Data (afternoon session)
This international symposium aims at celebrating the outcomes of the transatlantic dialogue in the Heritage Sciences, the scientific cross-cutting domain embracing a wide range of research disciplines supporting various aspects of tangible and intangible cultural heritage conservation, interpretation, and management. (Afternoon Session)
Project IRENE: Analyzing Images to Digitize Sound on Historic Audio Recordings
This lecture describes the IRENE technology, how the method enables the reconstruction of sound from the digital images, and the innovations and challenges relevant to scaling this method for working with thousands of cylinders. The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley is home to nearly 3,000 20th-century ethnographic field recordings that record Native Californians singing and speaking in...
Conservation Science & the Daguerreotype
Tracing the history of the daguerreotype from Paris to Philadelphia, this lecture explores the various improvements made to Daguerre's process and the ways in which it was used, examines the importance of Robert Cornelius as an American photographer, explains the history and ethics of conservation treatment and expands upon why conservation science-based research is necessary for the long-term preservation of our earliest national photographic...
Wetzel, Rachel K.
Expressive Dimensions of Photographic Paper
Photo conservator Paul Messier discusses how to better understand the materials used by photographers so that preservationists can better interpret them and care for them. Texture, gloss, color, and sheet thickness -- the defining characteristics of photographic paper -- meaningfully contribute to the visual impact of a photograph. Each of these dimensions were routinely communicated in marketing materials and, for the working darkroom photographer,...
Heritage Emergency Management & the Florence Flood Federal Programs National Initiatives
Andrew Robb discusses how the state of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation resources related to the emergency management of cultural materials has improved significantly since the Florence Flood of 1966. The presentation will include case studies of recent disasters to demonstrate how cultural resources are integrated into the broader national and Federal emergency management process.
The Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress
Conservators with the Library's Preservation Emergency Response Team explain and demonstrate how the Library of Congress prepares for and responds to emergencies that threaten or damage collections, in particular, for dealing with water-damaged collections. This video includes a brief description of the broad range of preservation activities undertaken by the Library's Preservation Directorate.