The Conservation Labs of the Sheridan Libraries and Museums are housed on C Level of the Brody Learning Commons. Conservation activities focus on the physical treatment of materials in the Sheridan Libraries and Museums as well as exhibition preparation and installation. The conservation labs are fully supported by the latest equipment reflecting both traditional and innovative technologies that assist conservators in their work. Treatment priorities are identified by curators in collaboration with conservators and are based on a variety of criteria including items that are most unstable or fragile and thus inaccessible to user as well as items that are in demand for research or exhibitions. Conservation services are divided into the book conservation lab and the paper conservation lab.
Book conservation focuses on all forms of bound text from archival notebooks, medieval manuscripts, to fine bindings, and modern texts as they are found both in the general collections and in the rare books and manuscript collections. Book conservators engage in assessment of damage, treatments to correct damage due either to inherent degradation of materials or to damage through time and use, and documentation of treatment progress. Typical conservation treatments may range from fabricating custom enclosures and boxes, to the complete disbinding, washing, resewing and rebinding a text.
The paper conservation lab focuses on flat and unbound works found in the Libraries’ collections. The range of materials that come to the paper lab include maps, letters, broadsides, sheet music, posters, architectural drawings, prints, photographs, ephemera, and art on paper. Typical conservation treatments performed in the lab include humidification and flattening of rolled architectural drawings, stabilization of corrosive iron gall inks, recovery of records from a disaster, as well as paper mending, aesthetic retouching, tape removal, encapsulation, aqueous treatments, deacidification and leafcasting performed on a number of different types of artifacts.