November 19, 2013 (REVISED November 26, 2013) Symposium on Authenticity of Print Materials Dec. 6

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Daniel De Simone (202) 707-3402
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or

One of the most difficult subjects facing today’s collection-development programs is judging the genuineness of printed materials. For nearly 10 years, the Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division has been working with conservators, rare booksellers and private collectors in establishing methods for determining the authenticity of original items.

Specialists, conservators, scientists, booksellers and private collectors who are on the cutting edge of research on printing techniques, paper manufacture, binding construction and typography will convene at the Library of Congress for a symposium on authenticity. The symposium, from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, is free and open to the public. The program will take place in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Seating is limited, and reservations are suggested. Contact Geanie Jackson in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at or (202) 707-6352.

There will be three panels devoted to the research that these curators, scholars and conservators have been conducting on all the elements of printing and book production. One panel will look at paper. A second will address printing and typography. A third panel will focus on color.


8:45 a.m. Introductory Remarks
Mark Dimunation, chief, Rare Book and Special Collections Division

9 a.m. “Authenticity & Authentication of 15th-Century European Papers”
Tim Barrett, Center of the Book, the University of Iowa

9:45 a.m. “Assessing Quality in Prints and Drawings”
Kim Schenck, head of Paper Conservation, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.

10:30 a.m. “Characteristics Unique to 19th-Century Machine-Made Paper”
Cathleen Baker, conservation librarian and exhibition conservator, University of Michigan


11:40 a.m. “Authenticating and Deauthenticating the ML ‘Sidereus Nuncius’”
Paul Needham, Scheide librarian, Princeton University
Nick Wilding, assistant professor, Georgia State University

Lunch Break

2 p.m. “The Devil is in the Details”
Lynn Brostoff, senior research chemist, Preservation Division, Library of Congress

2:45 p.m. “Authenticity of Color on Early Printed Images”
Thomas Primeau, director of conservation and paper conservator, Baltimore Museum of Art

3:30 p.m. “Towards an Uncolored View of Hand-Coloring”
Margaret L. Ford, International Head of Group, Books and Science, Christie’s

4:15 p.m. Keynote Address
Michael Suarez, director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia

In 1815, the Library of Congress acquired the personal library of Thomas Jefferson, the basis of its future development. Later collectors such as Lessing J. Rosenwald, John Boyd Thacher and Otto H. Vollbehr, among many others, conveyed their book collections to the Library, where they are conserved and made available in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. More recently, the Library received the gift of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of rare books, manuscripts and other early American materials. The reconstructed library of Thomas Jefferson and selections from the Kislak collection are on view in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 155 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its website at


PR 13-208
ISSN 0731-3527