Previous Conservation Internships
Chester Beatty Library
Rachel Sawicki 2009 - 2011
Rachel began her internship in book conservation at the Chester Beatty Library in October 2009. Thanks to the support of the Heritage Council and the Library’s Contributing Members, her internship was extended until July 2011. Rachel has focussed on the conservation of the Library’s bound Shahnama manuscripts, which were displayed in the Library’s Heroes and Kings of the Shahnama exhibition.
Her first conservation project was the treatment of a North Indian Shahnama manuscript, CBL In 17 dating from 1600-1610 A.D. Working under the expert tuition of the Senior Conservator, Kristine Rose, the manuscript received major conservation treatment to repair damage caused by a previous rebinding which was carried out prior to its acquisition by Chester Beatty. Rachel combined traditional Islamic bookbinding methods with modern conservation techniques to rebind the manuscript.
In addition to her work on the Shahnama collection, Rachel was also involved in two major exhibitions. This involved condition reporting and installing scrolls for the Telling Images of China exhibition; and repair and installation of Indian manuscripts for the Muraqqa: Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library exhibition.
Rachel also worked on a number of conservation projects for the Library’s Western collection. This included the treatment of three folios from a very rare French Book of Hours which is exactly dated to 1408 A.D. The miniatures are thought to be by one of the most important illuminators of the time, the Boucicault Master or his close associate the Mazarine Master. The three parchment folios received conservation treatment to stabilise cracked and flaking pigments. This entailed intricate and delicate brush consolidation under the microscope.
Rachel was also involved in the on-going treatment of the Library’s important print collection. One 17th century French print had been lined with canvas and was mounted on a wooden stretcher. The print had several large punctures through the paper support, and required cleaning, washing, paper repair and remounting into a conservation grade mount. Rachel also worked on the reinstallation of the Library’s permanent Arts of the Book exhibition, which includes over 900 objects from the Chester Beatty Library.
Rachael Smith 2006 - 2008
Rachael joined the Chester Beatty Library in October 2006, the first conservation intern to be supported by the Heritage Council. Rachael was involved in every aspect of the Library’s busy schedule and worked closely with the Library’s Head of Conservation and Book Conservator. She contributed to the conservation, mounting and installation of objects for the opening of the Library’s new permanent exhibition, Arts of the Book.
Rachael was involved in the cleaning of over 300 Chinese snuff bottles to enable photography for an upcoming catalogue. She also worked on two temporary exhibitions. She was responsible for checking the loan condition reports at the close of 100 Aspects of the Moon, and at the opening of Rembrandt in June, in both cases working alongside the lending museum’s couriers.