Beloit College's new summer program addresses a growing need in the field of museum and library collections care.
In its pilot season, the Center for Collections Care, which launches this July, will offer five courses in conservation for museum, library, archive, and conservation professionals and emerging professionals.
Beloit is in a prime position to offer this program, with two teaching museumsÂ--Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art, as well as historic costume and natural history collections, and a thriving archive.
"We have all the resources in place to provide the kind of in-depth, hands-on, professional training needs that people in the field need to do a better job caring for the nation's cultural heritage", says Nicolette Meister, C3 faculty director and Curator of Collections at the Logan Museum of Anthropology.
Nicolette says there's been a recent push in the preservation community to provide more training in preventive-care to avoid the costly conservation later. The options currently available include online courses, but she says that doesn't necessarily provide thorough training.
"The skills are very technical, it's very difficult to learn them from a book or webinar. What we're offering is really distinctive and intensive. So they can go back to their home institution and provide positive care," says Nicolette.
The courses will bring professionals from across the nation to campus to share their expertise for an intense three or four day course. But the program also offers an opportunity for Beloit students to learn and engage with their course work in a real-life setting. Students will be employed to set up the labs, have time to network with professionals, and sit in on classes.
"It's such a perfect complement to the college mission. It's putting skills into practice," says Nicolette.
Workshop Instructors include:
- Pam Gaible, mount shop supervisor at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago
- Earl Lock, a mount maker, exhibit designer and fabricator in private practice in Chicago
- Camille Myers Breeze, founder of Museum Textile Services, as a full-service textile conservation studio serving museums, historical societies, and private collectors, co-founder of the Andover Figures, and instructor at the International Preservation Studies Center.
- Jennifer Hain Teper serves as the Velde Preservation Librarian at the University of Illinois Libraries.
- Josh Hickman, digital resources librarian at Beloit College. He has over a decade of experience digitizing archival collections.
- Gary Albright, who has been consulting, treating, and teaching about photographs for over 40 years.