24 July 2011

Preservation Class - Sunday Edition

Hello, loyal readers! Once again, I am blogging to you from Tucson, Arizona in preparation for my Preservation summer class, which begins tomorrow. It should be a long week; those of you who've read this blog for a while know I was down here for another class in January to kick off my Master's degree in Information Resources and Library Science. Since that time, I've finished one full semester (two courses) and maintained my 4.0 GPA, which even earned me a $1,500 scholarship from the school for each of the next two semesters.

This summer, I've been doing work for my Ethics class (really, more like an overview of ethical theories... maybe they should change the title...) and gearing up for this 5-day intensive course on preservation of books, papers, photographs, film, etc. It starts tomorrow from 8am to 5pm, and should be pretty hardcore. But I'm definitely looking forward to it. We get a field trip to a different preservation department around the city of Tucson each day, and on Wednesday we get to make our own books! Our field trips shake out like this:

Monday: University of Arizona Library Special Collections (I got to tour the Special Collections Dept. in January when I was here, but this should be more in-depth)
Tuesday: Arizona Historical Society Library, Archives and History Museum (I also toured this in January)
Wednesday: Center for Creative Photography
Thursday: University of Arizona State Museum Conservation Section
Friday: Photographic Works

In addition, I have to come up with one Ethics assignment by Sunday, a topic for my code of ethics project by Friday, and a topic for my final preservation paper by the end of the week. So yeah, I'll be mildly busy. My professor should be pretty cool, though. He is the head of the Preservation Department at the University of Utah, and I've heard tell that he is a master bookbinder. Part of his introduction to class was to ask us to bring some of our old damaged books for us to look at and discuss the preservation aspects of maintaining them. I've got several, including a 1909 Kansas Manual of Patriotic Instruction (which is like a lesson plan book for teachers back then in how to promote patriotism in the classroom), a 1915 copy of Robert's Rules of Order, and a set of Bibles which are family heirlooms, the oldest of which is a 1792 Latin Bible owned by my great-great-great grandfather (or so I have been able to figure out) which is in very poor condition. Hopefully I can get some advice on keeping it from deteriorating further.

One of the other cool things about being in Tucson this week, is that there are thunderstorms and rain forecast for my entire stay here, with temperatures in the mid-to-high 90s! Cloudy and cooler? Yes, please! As I type, I can hear the thunder rolling outside my hotel room.

If I'm not horrifyingly busy later in the week, I'll update how class is going, but don't get your hopes up. That might not be until after I get back home on Friday.

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