Material Spotlight: Housing a Soviet Era Star Wars Poster

This is a guest post written by Jennifer Phiffer. Jennifer is a Conservation Technician in the General Collections Conservation Section. Her primary  duties are the housing and repair of collection materials. Earlier this year I was very excited to receive a new acquisition from the European Division, a movie poster that needed a custom oversized […]

So Many Islands in the Sea of Stories

  “So Many Islands: Stories from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian, and Pacific Oceans” is a collection of stories from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. It was edited by Nicolas Laughlin with Nailah Folami Imoja with an introduction by Marlon James, winner of the Man Booker Prize. It was published in 2018 by Peekash […]

Assessing the Impact of Sanitizing Products on Collection Items

This is a guest post by Cindy Connelly Ryan, a Preservation Science Specialist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division. Her research interests include the light sensitivity of inks, dyes and organic colorants, deterioration and stabilization of verdigris and iron gall ink, and historic recipes and working methods for artists’ materials. Over the ever-lengthening months […]

Preservation Research and Testing Division: What We Do!

This is a guest post authored by Fenella France. Fenella has been the Chief of the Preservation Research and Testing Division since 2011. She has a Ph.D and a master’s degree in textile science and a master’s degree in business administration, with over 30 years’ experience in heritage preservation science. In February 2020, the Preservation […]

Scenes from the Lab: Preservation of World War II Pacific Theater Relief Maps

This is a guest post authored by Jim Thurn. Jim is a book and paper conservator in the Collections Conservation Section of the Conservation Division at the Library of Congress. He studied conservation at the former Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record at the University of Texas at Austin. On December 7, 1941 […]

Preservation Projects: Diego Rivera’s Watercolors

Diego Rivera, well known for his reintroduction of large frescoes into modern art, was commissioned to create a series of illustrations for a book that would have been the first English translation of the Popol Vuh, the Maya creation story. Although the book was never published, the Library has three of the original illustrations, Creation, […]

Preservation with Instrumentation: Raman Spectroscopy

The Preservation Research and Testing Division (PRTD) is equipped with many wonderful analytical tools to investigate the Library’s vast collection. Material identification is key for preservation; knowing what materials make up a particular object will guide preservation policies and treatments. PRTD has several different laboratories, including a non-invasive optical properties lab, which is generally where […]