The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, in collaboration with the Georgia Archives and Emory University Libraries Preservation Office, presents a mid-career conservation workshop:

Removal of Pressure Sensitive Tapes and Tape Stains

September 28 - October 2, 2015
Morrow (near Atlanta), Georgia
The Georgia Archives
Instructors:  Elissa O’Loughlin and Linda Stiber Morenus

Registration Fee
$650 AIC members; $800 non-members
Limit 12 participants.
FAIC's workshop and conference registration policies can be found here.


The class is intended for mid-career conservators who specialize in the treatment of works of cultural significance. Primarily designed for conservators of book and paper specialties, the course work is also relevant for conservators in other specializations, especially objects and textiles. The course consists of didactic and hands-on sessions presented in a laboratory setting. The five day curriculum includes:
  • Overview of pressure sensitive tapes, production methods, and manufacturing history
  • Science overview of adhesion, pressure sensitive adhesive characteristics
  • Methods of tape and adhesive identification, physical, chemical, optical
  • Removal techniques; use of heat, mechanical means, and organic solvents
  • Health and Safety aspects of organic solvent use
  • Remediation and stain removal using organic solvents and wash methods
  • Collections care and decision making
  • Use of pressure sensitive products in preservation
The participants are asked to bring case histories for discussion in the class, and also to bring expendable examples when possible.


This workshop is designed for practicing conservators.  Participants will be selected based on experience, demonstrated need/relevance, geographic reach, and opportunity to disseminate information gained. The number of participants from a single institution may be limited.  Preference will be given to AIC Professional Associate and Fellow members. Applications are due April 30, 2015, with notifications expected by June 10th. Later applications will be considered, if space is available.

To apply for a space in the workshop, please fill out the WORKSHOP APPLICATION FORM, and mail the form along with a copy of your resume or CV and statement of interest addressing the acceptance criteria to

Financial assistance is available through grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Scholarship applications must be received by FAIC by the stated deadline.  Prospective applicants should apply for workshop admission by April 30th.  Acceptance and scholarship decisions are made independently, and applying for funding will not reduce your chances of being accepted into the workshop.
  • FAIC/NEH Individual Professional Development Scholarship
    With financial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, FAIC offers scholarships up to $1,000 to help defray registration and travel expenses for participants in the FAIC workshops supported by NEH. All current AIC members who are U.S. residents or citizens are eligible. Deadlines for receipt of applications are February 15, May 15 and September 15.

General Outline of Course
(preliminary, and subject to change):
Day 1:  Basics of adhesion and properties of tapes; Invention and evolution of rubber-based pressure sensitive tapes; Invention and evolution of synthetic polymer-based pressure sensitive tapes; Degradation of rubber-based pressure sensitive tapes; Degradation of synthetic polymer-based pressure sensitive tapes; Evaluating condition of an artifact vis-a-vis condition of tape; Practicum

Day 2:  Solvents and Solubility – Use of  TEAS chart; Effects of Solvents on paper/ Benefits vs problems of local treatment; Case histories; Mechanical carrier and adhesive removal; Advanced carrier removal; Practicum

Day 3:  Conservation and curatorial collaboration in preservation decision making; Tape and materials analysis – When is analysis indicated?; Exhibition considerations regarding artifacts with tape; Case histories: Solvent chambers/ Poulticing/ Solvent immersion; Practicum

Day 4:  Use of pressure sensitive tapes in conservation and preservation; Pressure sensitive labels testing at the Library of Congress; Pressure sensitive tape removal and testing; Case histories: Removal of tape stains; Practicum

Day 5:  Practicum; Evaluation of experimental results; Participant presentations; Evaluation


  • Elissa O’Loughlin is a bench trained conservator who began her conservation work at the U.S. National Archives in 1983. She received training at the Smithsonian Institution, the SAAR program of the Opleiding Restauratoren, the University of London and in other graduate level settings. Since 2000 she has been Senior Paper Conservator at the Walters Art Museum. Her research interests include deacidification, materials testing, iron gall ink and optical brighteners. She is the recipient of two Samuel Kress grants for professional development as well as the Carolyn Horton Grant administered by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation. She is a Professional Associate of AIC and Board member of the Washington Conservation Guild.

  • Linda Stiber Morenus is a PhD candidate with the Staatliche Akademie Der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, Germany.  Her dissertation is titled: Chiaroscuro Woodcut Printing In 16th-17th Century Italy: Technique in Relation to Artistic Style. She received a MA and CAS in 1986 from the State University of New York, College at Buffalo, Art Conservation Program. She has held paper conservator positions with the U.S. National Archives (1987) and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery (1988 – 1990).  From 1991 - 2011, she was a senior paper conservator with the Library of Congress. She is presently a conservator in private practice and a program manager with the Library of Congress Office of the Associate Librarian.  She has been awarded a Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship, James H. Billington Award, and Kittredge Foundation Grants for technical study of Italian chiaroscuro woodcuts and artistic transfer lithography. Other research interests include Japanese woodblock prints and iron gall ink. She is a Professional Associate of AIC.

Travel Information

Directions and other travel information, including recommended hotels, will be sent to all participants prior to the workshop.

This program is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Additional funding comes from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artist Works Endowment for Professional Development, which was created by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and donations from members of the American Institute for Conservation and its friends. Courses are made possible with the assistance of many AIC members, but no AIC membership dues were used to create or present this course.

Without this support, the registration fees would be approximately $1,750.


Contact: Abigail Choudhury
FAIC Development and Education Coordinator
1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 320
Washington, DC 20005

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