The Department of Conservation and Preservation is one of the oldest uninterrupted book and paper conservation departments in an academic library. Since its beginnings, the Department’s mission has included addressing both the preservation and conservation needs of its collections and in the active training of conservators.

The department serves the conservation and preservation needs of the Sheridan Libraries and University Museums collections and provides intermediate and advanced training for conservators. It is divided into three functional units: Conservation Services, Preservation Services, and Heritage Science for Conservation (HSC).

Conservation & Preservation has a long history of apprentice-style training for conservators and continues to provide book and paper conservation training opportunities, including intermediate and advanced workshops, consultancies, internships, and research fellowships. These opportunities have been made possible through generous grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kress Foundation, and private benefactors.

Conservation Services

The Conservation Lab is housed on C-level of the Brody Learning Commons. Conservation activities focus on the physical treatment of materials from the collection as well as exhibition preparation and installation. Conservators are fully supported by the latest equipment, reflecting both traditional and innovative technologies to assist them in their work. Treatment priorities are identified by curators in collaboration with conservators to ensure that fragile or unstable items are cared for and made accessible for use by researchers and in exhibitions.

A conservator sews the binding of a book

Preservation Services

The Preservation Services unit is responsible for a variety of activities that ensure the collections remain in working condition to support the research needs of students and faculty. Activities focus on preventative measures such as the commercial binding of monographs and serials, environmental monitoring, education and awareness in the care and handling of collections, collection assessment, and disaster preparedness and management.

A birch-bark manuscript in preservation

Heritage Science for Conservation

Also housed on C-level of the Brody Learning Commons, Heritage Science for Conservation (HSC) shares a five-room suite of laboratories with conservation services. The lab is fully equipped for a variety of analytical and physical testing. Scientists and engineers in HSC

  • conduct research into heritage materials including paper, parchment, adhesives, polymers, inks, sizing, bindings, and leather
  • evaluate products and processes currently used by conservators
  • train engineers, scientists, and conservators in conservation science

Heritage Science for Conservation

Staff Directory

Name Contact Location Subject Areas
Jarvis, Jennifer
Paper Conservator
410-516-4751
jjarvis9@jhu.edu
Brody Learning Commons
Warren, Lena
Book Conservator
410-516-1475
lena.warren@jhu.edu
Brody Learning Commons
Pollei, Mark
Asst Director for Library Conservation & Preservation
410-516-4383
mpollei@jhu.edu
Brody Learning Commons
Scola, Alessandro
Senior Book Conservator
410-516-8009
ascola1@jhu.edu
Brody Learning Commons
Sampsell, Gary
Preservation Services Assistant
410-516-8397
gsampse2@jhu.edu
Brody Learning Commons