Tuesday, May 29 • 8:30am - 5:00pm
(Pre-session Symposium) The Current Use of Leather in Book Conservation LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Leather has long been used as a repair material for damaged leather bindings. The working properties of historic leathers can be very different than modern ones. In recent years, conservators have begun to employ other materials, such as paper or cast acrylic, as an alternative to leather in book conservation treatments. Tanned animal skins offer less long-term stability and may be more difficult to prepare than other materials, but may also provide better strength and flexibility in a functioning book. Should conservators continue to employ leather using traditional book repair techniques on leather bindings? Should we abandon the use of tanned skins in favor of more chemically stable materials? Do alternative book repair materials really stand up to the mechanical stresses of use? Be part of the debate and register for the symposium.

Here is a brief sampling of the talks:

  • A virtual tour of J Hewit & Sons – discover how bookbinding leathers are produced.
  • An exploration of over 50 years of book conservation at the Boston Athenæum. 
  • A comparison of the use of customized acrylic cast into reusable silicone molds as an alternative to traditional methods
  • An examination of SINTEVA Cuir as an alternative to leather
  • A study of the applications of Japanese papers as a leather replacement
  • An evaluation of the characteristics of bindings suitable for repair using tanned leather and a summary of the training needed to execute these repairs and an exploration of the suitability of cosmetic treatments that may alter the appearance of a historic binding.
  • A panel discussion of the Library of Congress’s treatment protocols and case studies of when traditional leather or other materials were used.
  • A report on the leather discussion group’s study on why modern leather deteriorates faster than older leather 
Download a complete listing of talks with abstracts below. Lunch is included.

avatar for Henry Hebert-[PA]

Henry Hebert-[PA]

Conservator for Special Collections, Duke University Libraries
Henry Hébert is a Conservator for Special Collections at Duke University Libraries. Previous positions include Rare Book Conservator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Von Clemm Fellow in Book Conservation at the Boston Athenaeum, and Conservation Contractor at Baker... Read More →
avatar for Marieka Kaye-[Fellow]

Marieka Kaye-[Fellow]

Head, Conservation & Book Repair, University of Michigan Library
Marieka currently holds the position of Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Head, Conservation & Book Repair at the University of Michigan Library. She has worked at U-M since 2013, after serving as a book and paper conservator for 8 years at the Huntington Library in San... Read More →

avatar for James Reid Cunningham-[PA]

James Reid Cunningham-[PA]

Sole Proprietor, James Reid-Cunningham Bookbinding and Conservation
James Reid-Cunningham is a book and paper conservator in private practice, specializing in the conservation of rare books, manuscripts, and archival documents. He spent thirty years as a conservator at Harvard University and the Boston Athenaeum, and served as the President of the... Read More →
avatar for Emilie Demers

Emilie Demers

MAC Candidate in Paper, Photographs and New Media stream, Queen's University, Art Conservation Program
Emilie Demers is a recent graduate student from the Master of Art Conservation (MAC) program at Queen’s University, with specialization in paper objects, photographic materials and new media. Her undergraduate degree was completed at the University of Ottawa majoring in History... Read More →
avatar for Ségolène Girard

Ségolène Girard

Conservator, Bibliothèque de Versailles
avatar for Holly Herro

Holly Herro

Holly Herro, Senior Conservator Emeritus, oversaw the Conservation Program at the National Library of Medicine on the National Institutes of Health campus in Maryland. She has been involved in conservation as a rare book and manuscripts conservator for over thirty years. Holly served... Read More →
avatar for Katherine Kelly-[PA]

Katherine Kelly-[PA]

Senior Book Conservator, Library of Congress
Katherine Kelly is a Senior Book Conservator at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Previously, she has worked at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the National Archives, Iowa State University, Harvard University, and Cornell University. She received her MS in Information... Read More →
avatar for David Lanning

David Lanning

Supplier/Service Provider, J Hewit & Sons Ltd
avatar for Laura McNulty

Laura McNulty

Conservation Intern , Pre-Program Student, National Library of Medicine
Laura McNulty is currently a conservation intern at the National Library of Medicine on the National Institutes of Health campus in Maryland. In addition, she has worked at the American Philosophical Society, Library of Congress, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Colonial Williamsburg... Read More →
avatar for William Minter

William Minter

Conservator, Pennsylvania State University Library
Minter graduated from Stout State University in Wisconsin (now the University of Wisconsin - Stout) with a degree in industrial technology and a concentration in graphic design. He then pursued a seven-year apprenticeship with William Anthony, a noted fine-design bookbinder and book... Read More →
avatar for Dan Paterson

Dan Paterson

Senior Rare Book Conservator, Library of Congress
Dan Paterson is a Senior Rare Book Conservator at the Library of Congress where he has worked since 2003.
avatar for Sarah Reidell

Sarah Reidell

Margy E. Meyerson Head of Conservation, University of Pennsylvania
Sarah is the Margy E. Meyerson Head of Conservation at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and AIC Board Director of Communications. A peer-reviewed Fellow of AIC, she specializes in the conservation treatment of books, paper, and parchment. She has held previous appointments... Read More →

Shelly Smith

Conservator, Library of Congress
avatar for Katie C. Wagner-[PA]

Katie C. Wagner-[PA]

Book Conservator, Smithsonian Libraries
Katie Wagner is a rare book conservator for the Smithsonian Libraries. She works primarily with the two special collections libraries: The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library and The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology as well as with the other branches of the Smithsonian... Read More →
avatar for Dawn Walus

Dawn Walus

Conservator, Boston Athenaeum
Dawn Walus is the Chief Conservator at the Boston Athenæum. Previously, she worked as a book conservator at the Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard Library and has held conservation internships and positions at The Preservation Society of Newport County in Newport, RI; The Brooklyn... Read More →
avatar for Kristi Wright

Kristi Wright

Book Conservator, Private Practice
Kristi Wright, principal of Wright Conservation & Framing in Front Royal, Virginia, specializes in book and paper conservation. She has participated in the Leather Discussion Group since its inception. Work on this presentation was done as a contract conservator for the National Library... Read More →

Tuesday May 29, 2018 8:30am - 5:00pm MDT
Texas Ballroom A Marriott Marquis Houston