The Conservation unit was founded by Bill Anthony in 1985. He established a range of services to Special Collections and managed Mellon Foundation Apprenticeships. This combination service and training program was continued by Pam Spitzmueller who was the Conservator from 1989 to 1998. Gary Frost, now Conservator Emeritus, held the position from 1999-2011. The current staff of the Conservation Unit includes Giselle Simón, Conservator; Susan Hansen, Book Repair Supervisor; Linda Lundy, Conservation Assistant; Bill Voss, Conservation Technician; and Kathleen Tandy, Conservation Project Technician.
The Conservation unit provides physical treatment for all of the collections, both circulating and non-circulating. Damaged rare books, manuscripts and maps are cleaned, stabilized, mended and provided with many options of reconstruction and protective enclosure. Circulating books, pamphlets and music are reinforced for continuing use and items damaged by water and mold are salvaged. The Conservation Unit provides consultation, assessment and preparatory services for rare items included in digitization workflow. The Unit also participates in issues of collection storage, use and exhibition preparation.
The Conservation unit is a resource center for those interested in information on book conservation methods or those with interests in the arts, crafts and research fields of the book. The Conservation Unit has an important collection of historical binding models.
The Conservation Unit operates from a 1484 square foot laboratory facility on the fifth floor of the Main Library. For further information contact Giselle Simón, Conservator, 100 Main Library, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 52242, 319.335.5033 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Thomas P Jorgensen