Contract Conservation at the Smithsonian
Author's Note: This post originally appeared on the Smithsonian Libraries' blog and has been re-posted here, featuring revisions geared towards the West Dean blog audience, with the generous consent of the Institution. Since this post was originally written and published, the project has progressed further, which will be discussed toward the end of this entry.
Greetings from America! It's been a while since I last contributed to the West Dean Conservation blog, and in the interim I've completed my MA at West Dean, returned home to the States, and found employment as a contract conservator for an e-learning company. Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, my employer, is spearheading a digitization project in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution to scan and make available digitally a selection of the materials in their collections. (For those unfamiliar with the Smithsonian-the world's largest museum and research complex-you can learn more about it here.) The Smithsonian is providing the materials and workspace, Gale provides the funding, and Innovative Document Imaging (IDI) is the company contracted to complete the scanning process. This project has required an immense amount of cooperation and coordination to get off the ground, and a portion of my time is spent in liaising with everyone involved as questions arise or obstacles are encountered. The project includes the review, treatment, and scanning of all items as required. I was hired specifically to handle review and treatment.