I’ve been working near Baltimore for almost 6 months, and have yet to take advantage of all the city has to offer. It’s terrible, I know, but that two hour commute back to Philly is usually enough to deter me from any extra stops…until a couple of weeks ago, when I finally made it to Johns Hopkins to visit my friend Emily Derse, the current Kress Fellow in conservation.
Emily and I met while she was doing a summer internship at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. I was working as a technician there at the time, and loved having Emily’s company at lunch and in the lab. Of course, she had to return to England at the end of the summer to finish her degree at Northumbria University, but I was happy to see that she was coming home (to the U.S.) last fall.
Emily specialized in paper in the U.K., but as the Kress Fellow at Hopkins she has the opportunity to learn about book binding and book conservation, as well as completing projects in paper. I arrived at Hopkins late on a Friday afternoon, so I was fortunate to meet Book Conservator Lena Warren, along with the rest of the conservation staff, and the conservation scientists. The two labs are separate, but on the same floor in the library building. The paper conservation lab is fairly small, but filled with all of the necessary tools and equipment–and more–plus, enough working room for Emily and Paper Conservator Crystal Maitland. The book conservation area, by contrast, has many more desks and benches, but also more employees to fulfill the needs of the Sheridan Libraries.
The Hopkins Homewood campus looked beautiful from what I could see walking hurriedly through the brisk air; and once construction finishes on the new library building, conservators will also have a brand new space to enjoy. I can’t wait to see it!