Previous Conservation Internships
Trinity College Dublin Library
Krystyna Olczyk (March 2012- August 2012)
Krystyna graduated from Nicholas Copernicus University, Toruń and worked on several projects in the Old Library before moving on to Treasure House, Beverley, UK.
Project 1. Treatment and storage of Official Publications.
In this project Krystyna’s task was to treat and re-house documents and pamphlets from the Official Publication Department of the Library. All documents were from early 20th century, stored in six acidic paper envelopes:
All documents were surface cleaned with smoke sponges. Rusty staples were removed. Creases were flattened tears and losses were repaired with starch paste and Tengujo and Mino Gami tissue.
Two documents were bound with Japanese sewing in a paper cover made of 140 g α-cellulose white paper.
The other documents were wrapped with a melinex cover, attached with tacket stitches with an inner guard added to protect original material.
Project 2. In-situ repair of two books from Fagel collection: Fag.H.3.55 and Fag. H.3.83
In this project Krystyna treated two early printed books in full parchment binding. The objective was to preserve as much as possible of the original materials and technique.
The main problem in both cases was the spine damage. Covers and text blocks were cleaned mechanically using soft Japanese brushes, chemical ‘smoke’ sponge and Staedler Mars Plastic Eraser. Paper repairs were carried out with Mino Gami Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste.
Project 3.Treatment of nine flood damaged frozen books salvaged from Botany flood The project concerned books from 19th century, that were salvaged from the Botany flood in August 2011. They were frozen in a saturated state and kept in -60⁰C degrees temperature.
All the books were carefully defrosted at the controlled environment of 45-50% RH and 21-23⁰C degrees, in a fume hood to ensure proper air circulation.
Two different ways of air drying were tried out: ‘fanning’ the book and interleaving it with filtered paper. It was decided to apply interleaving to all the books, as this method caused less distortion to pages and boards.
When the books were almost dry, there were put in to the press and left to dry completely. Then minor repair were carried out. he last stage of the project was constructing the phase boxes for the repaired books.
A few weeks before the project had begun, Krystyna also had the opportunity to help with drying out 40 contemporary children books flooded during heavy rains. This gave her additional ideas on how fast action may save even heavily distorted books and bring them into usable state.
Project 4. Display of Library Collections
In this project Krystyna assisted in preparing 40 books for the exhibition titled Drawn to the Page: Irish Artists and Illustration c. 1830 – 1930, which will start in October 2012. Her tasks were: preparing a preliminary condition report for all the books, surface cleaning and minor paper repairs as needed. Next step was to prepare cradles for the objects.
Additionally, she assisted in preparations for the loan to the National Gallery of Ireland for the exhibition: Jack of all Trades: Yeats’s Punch cartoons and illustrations by Irish Painters. The loan was 38.d.25: Lika Joko, a 19th century periodical. I prepared the detailed condition report, cleaned the book and constructed a phase box and also assisted with the transfer of the book to the National Library
Project 5. Treatment of N.gg.37 and W.m.13
In this project Krystyna treated two early printed books in full leather binding. The main problem in both cases was severe spine damage.
Amy Baldwin (November 2011-February 2012)
Amy Baldwin graduated from Camberwell College of Arts, London, and worked on two projects in the Old Library before moving on to the National Library of Scotland.
Project 1: MS 830 (Depositions, Co. Roscommon & Galway, 1641)
Conservation work had already started on the first document and it required rebinding. This required rounding and backing the volume, lining the spine, and attaching and lining the boards. The book was quarter-bound in vellum with tips and linen buckram sides. Amy had not previously used vellum as a covering material so this was a very valuable learning experience, as was cutting the buckram to expose the tips evenly.
Project 2: Walker’s Hibernian Magazine (OO.qq.48)
This early-nineteenth-century volume had been half-bound in calf in marbled paper. It had been sewn on four recessed cords, and was suffering from deterioration of both the leather and the sewing structure.
As in the case of the MS 830, work had already been commenced on this project. Amy resewed the text block and relined the spine. New endbands were sewn to match the surviving fragments of the originals. The boards were re-attached using the original lacing holes.
It was decided that the lettering on the spine would be re-created using labels. This caused a deviation from the treatment proposal; initially it had been planned to reback the volume as a tight back. However, the flexing of the spine leather necessitated by this style would, over time, cause the labels to crack and flake, and it was therefore decided to create a hollow back with false raised bands instead. The new leather was attached to the spine and the corners repaired with pieces of the same. Labels were created on the blocking machine and attached to the spine.
Brannah MacKenzie 2010 - 2011
Brannah studied Conservation of Book and Library Materials at West Dean College, West Sussex, England. Following the completion of her MA in Conservation Studies in 2009 she went on to internships at the Leather Conservation Centre, Northampton and the British Library, London.
Brannah’s first project at Trinity College Library was a printed book entitled An Historical Account of the Campaign in the Netherlands in 1815 Under His Grace The Duke of Wellington and Marshal Prince Blucher Comprising the Battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo, written by William Mudford and printed in 1817. This required treatment of a fold out map. It was necessary to carry out a full treatment on the map including removing it from the binding, removal of the existing linings, washing, relining and repair before reinserting it back into the volume. The boards of the volume were also detached and required a leather reback.
A second project involved the repair and rebinding of the Index for the 1641 Depositions. The rebinding of this manuscript in quarter vellum with vellum tips presented a valuable opportunity to learn techniques employed in binding with vellum. Brannah also had the chance to assist in the preparation and display of a variety of objects for inclusion in exhibitions in the Long Room of the Old Library.
Simona Cenci 2009 - 2010
After graduating in Classics in 2005 from the Università degli Studi di Perugia, Simona attended the two-year course in Book and Paper Conservation at the Scuola Europea di Conservazione e Restauro del Libro, Spoleto finishing in 2007. As part of the course she also completed an internship at the National Library of Scotland. Simona has also worked in Scotland as Project Conservator at Lothian Health Services Archive, preserving and re-housing 20th century case-notes and surveying the collection of books.
During her internship with Trinity College Library Simona worked on the treatment of XIX century adhesive bindings; the treatment and rebinding of two volumes of the 1641 Depositions; the set-up, support making, and preparation of books and manuscripts for two of the exhibitions in the Long Room; the treatment of two early Greek manuscripts; and the treatment of a parchment document. During the year she also had the opportunity to improve her knowledge of many aspects of conservation. She attended in-house seminars and workshops, such as the identification and storage of photographic materials, the stabilisation of iron gall ink manuscripts, Japanese lining techniques, and joint tacketing.
This experience provided an excellent opportunity for her professional
development, giving her a chance to join a team of experienced conservators and to improve her knowledge and skills through contact with a variety of materials and new methodologies.
Catt Baum 2008 - 2009
Catt spent one year with staff in the Conservation Department of Trinity College Library working specifically on parchment projects. She graduated with distinction in 2007 from the Masters programme in Book Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts, London and has worked at the Wellcome Library, the British Library and the Victoria & Albert Museum among others.
Catt’s first project was the conservation and re-housing of a collection of parchment deeds, some with wax seals, dated from the 14th to 17th centuries. The re-housing solutions were devised by Matthew Hatton and Katerina Laina for another collection of deeds. Traditional techniques of parchment repair were learned under the guidance of Ray Jordan and Matthew.
Following on from this project, Catt worked with Andrew Megaw, conserving two 16th century vellum-bound volumes. The two books shared common features of the bindings as well as common problems. In-situ repairs were carried out to the sewing and endbands, the books were re-backed using new parchment, and dyed to blend in with the primary covering material. The aims of restoring the books’ functionality while preserving the historical structures, materials and evidence of earlier bindings, were achieved with great success.
Catt also worked on Manuscript 55, one of the treasures of the Trinity Collections, she also bound one of the volumes of the conserved 1641 Depositions. Trinity’s reputation for their parchment conservation work is internationally renowned and Catt felt privileged to have the opportunity to learn about this difficult material.