Committed to the training of skilled book binders and conservators, in 1977 the Milton S. Eisenhower Library established the Bindery Apprenticeship Program. Certified by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, the five year apprenticeship program was modeled on the City Guilds of London. The only formalized apprenticeship program in an academic setting, it continued to accept and to train men and women in all aspects of book and paper conservation from 1977-1986.
The Department 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 a number of generous grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kress Foundation, and also private benefactors.
With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in 2009 the Department of Conservation and Preservation established Heritage Science for Conservation (HSC). By bringing the conservation scientist into working proximity of the bench conservator, deeper mutual understanding of historic and modern materials and their performance is enhanced, and thus our ability to find remedies for conservation problems not currently addressed by classical bench treatment is greatly improved.