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Pre-Program Internship

Pre-Program Internship in Rare Book and Library Materials Conservation

The UW Libraries offers one pre-program internship in conservation each year.  Interns have the opportunity to develop their conservation treatment skills and portfolio using diverse special collections from the UW Libraries.  Applicants are expected to have a demonstrated interest in conservation and to be preparing for or enrolled in a graduate level conservation program.

This is a full-time (40 hours per week) summer program.  Duration is 10 weeks.  The position for 2016 will be advertised in early winter on the ConsDistList and PADG listserves with applications due in February or March.  For more information, read the full description.

2016 Intern Sara Belasco

Sara Belasco

I am so grateful to have worked in the Conservation Center’s beautiful new space. My projects were tailored to the kinds of books I wanted to treat and my goals for progression by the end of the summer. In total I treated eight books and made two historical models, learning about different methods of board reattachment, leather rebacking, and limp vellum structures.  In addition to treatment, I gained experience in working with a curator to develop a treatment plan and proper documentation. After this summer I have a much more well-rounded understanding of problems specific to the treatment of rare books, as well as feeling much more prepared to enter a graduate program for conservation in the future.

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Sara Belasco is from New York City, NY and earned a B.A. with Honors in Art History and a minor in Studio Art from Skidmore College. She has completed conservation internships at the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morgan Library & Museum, and New-York Historical Society. Sara is currently taking additional chemistry and German classes in preparation for applying to graduate school this Fall and has returned to her internship at the American Museum of Natural History Library.

 

2015 Intern Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith, conservation intern

I feel very fortunate to have worked as a conservation intern at the UW Libraries. During my ten weeks here, I was able to complete six full treatments and all of these items are now available for use by professors as teaching tools for their students. The projects selected for me were varied enough to expose me to a wide array of treatment methods while reinforcing the foundational skills I need in order to become a book conservator. I feel more confident entering my graduate program this fall with the experience that I have gained during this internship. I had not performed any treatments on antiquarian books bound in leather or vellum before this summer and I was happy to fill this gap in my knowledge. I even got to work on an illuminated manuscript! This was an invaluable opportunity for me.

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Michelle Smith is from Atlanta, Georgia and received a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design (printmaking major, book arts minor). She has completed conservation internships at several institutions including Emory University Libraries and the Georgia Archives.  She has also interned with conservators in private practice. She will begin a graduate fellowship in art conservation at Buffalo State College in the fall of 2015, where she plans to concentrate on library/archives and book conservation. Michelle is also an avid book artist, printmaker, and quilter.

2014 Intern Elizabeth (Lizzie) Curran

Lizzie Curran, intern

As the University of Washington Libraries’ first summer Conservation Intern, I have been working on volumes from the Libraries’ Special Collections under the supervision of Senior Conservator, Justin Johnson. When tackling challenging projects, Justin’s mentorship has made it possible for me to feel confident in my decision-making process while still receiving his expert guidance. From the very beginning of my 10 week internship, I learned numerous repair methods and was able to put them directly into practice. The tools and materials available in the Conservation Lab made it possible to perform complex and delicate repairs to valuable items in the collection, like washing and rebinding entire books, or executing an archival spine repair that blends in seamlessly with the original material. In addition to the hands-on skills, I’ve learned about the important work of conservation away from the bench: consulting with curators and colleagues, photo documentation, and developing treatment proposals and reports.

My knowledge base and hand skills have improved greatly due to the opportunity I have been granted at UW. Not only are the Suzzallo and Allen Libraries a beautiful place to work every day, but they have also proven to be a lively environment with an interesting and well-cared-for collection. I feel lucky to have been able to handle and repair everything from Gothic bindings to original Kelmscott Press books.

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Lizzie Curran is from Concord, Massachusetts and earned a B.A. in Studio Art from Bennington College and a diploma in Bookbinding from North Bennet Street School. She has completed book conservation internships at Dartmouth College and the University of Washington. Lizzie has exhibited with and is a member of the New England chapter of the Guild of Book Workers.  She currently is currently Assistant Conservator at Dartmouth College.