HIST. 4190 Conservation and Preservation of Library and Archival Materials
Instructor: Slava Polishchuk
Working in tandem with the conservator in the library’s conservation laboratory, the students handled, analyzed and treated original materials gaining invaluable “hands – on” experience. During the semester, the students cleaned and encapsulated damaged documents from the Papers of Loretta Bender and rebound a rare book. For their final project, the students constructed custom archival boxes for scrapbooks from the Robert Hess Collection.
Student Impressions of the Class:
"Conservation and Preservation of Library and Archival Materials was a fantastic class to take. We were able to get hands-on experience in a conservation lab, which is usually only limited to graduate level classes. As someone who is planning on going to graduate school for Library and Information Sciences with a track in Archival Studies, this class was an amazing way to get to be hands-on in an archive, and gain experience that most people do not have going into graduate school. We worked on some really awesome projects like bookbinding and making archival boxes. We got to handle materials from the archives which made me both anxiety-ridden and exhilarated because some of the materials were old or damaged. This class made me even more excited about going to graduate school, and I cannot wait to continue working in an archive and handling materials like this again. This class was the most fun I have had in a class, and I gained so much experience from this class."
--Briana Basta, spring 2018
"Integral to the Brooklyn College Conservation Lab since its founding, Prof. Polishchuk demonstrates his craft to students patiently and with detail. From the first day of class, students are immersed in hands-on work and go on to complete three separate preservation projects on actual pieces from the Brooklyn College collections. Prof. Polishchuk also shares his thoughts on the philosophy of conservation during class, which helps to greater understand the field and its artistry. Having the chance to learn directly from a master craftsman in a well-equipped conservation lab is not common at the undergraduate level at any college. I’m very happy to have had this opportunity, and my experience in Prof. Polishchuk’s class has furthered my resolve to pursue conservation as a career."
--Eclair Morton, spring 2018
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Repairing Harper's Weekly, vol 52, part 2 (July-December 1908)
The Brooklyn College Archives has bound volumes of Harper's Weekly. After decades of use, some of the volumes are now in poor condition. One of the volumes repaired by our Conservator, Slava Polishchuk, is volume 52, part 2, containing the issues from July through December 1908.
The cover was completely detached and heavily damaged. The spine of the book was missing and only fragments of the cloth covering the spine remained. Fragile endpapers and loose pages, which had separated from the spine, made this volume a candidate for repair.