The Use and Creation of Pre-coated Repairs

September 27 – 29, 2017
Indiana Historical Society
Indianapolis, IN
Instructor: Sarah Reidell 

Organizer: Kathy Lechuga


This is a practical, hands-on workshop for conservation professionals who are interested in learning more about the selection, creation, and use of adhesive pre-coated repair materials for conservation treatment. Pre-coated repair materials supplement traditional mending techniques by taking advantage of the reactivation properties of numerous starch, protein, and synthetic adhesives. Greater control of moisture introduction during reactivation enables repairs near sensitive media or mold-damaged supports. Dried adhesive films strengthen very thin, fragile supports for greater ease of use and smaller repair areas. Careful selection allows for a highly refined and customized repair material that may surpass other products available from the commercial market.

This three-day course is directed towards conservation professionals with a familiarity of adhesive systems, common conservation repair techniques, and theoretical concepts. It includes lecture presentations on key concepts; an overview of selection criteria; instructor-led demonstrations; collaborative discovery exercises; and group discussions to share experimental results and evaluate findings. Attendees collaborate closely to share working methods and tips.  Experimentation outside of the normal lab environment frees attendees to try new materials and apply new techniques to sample objects with playful yet complicated condition issues that mimic real-world treatment scenarios.


The fee for this course is $399 AIC members; $499 non-AIC members

Limit 14 participants. Space is limited, so early registration is strongly encouraged.  Participants must have professional experience in conservation or historic preservation, or have completed substantial study, and have a working knowledge of basic laboratory procedures and safety. Registrants will be asked to submit a CV/Resume for review to after online registration is complete.  FAIC reserves the right to cancel the registration and make a refund to those not meeting these requirements.

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About the Workshop

This course is based on a two-part 2009 AIC Book and Paper Group presentation at the Archives Conservation and Library Collections Conservation discussion groups by co-developers Priscilla Anderson and Sarah Reidell. Those presentations summarized a 2009 Conservation DistList survey on the adhesives used, preparation guidelines, and techniques for reactivated repair materials as practiced by active book and paper conservators. A description of the presentation is available in the Book and Paper Group Annual (see Book and Paper Group Annual, Vol 28 (2009): 99-101, 109, 112) and describes the topic as it was used in common book and paper conservation practice at the time. The topic continues to develop. Versions of the workshop have been hosted independently at the Folger Shakespeare Library (2010); WUDPAC/Simmons College/North Bennet Street School (2011, by Anderson); Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2014); Campbell Center for Historic Preservation (2014); Dartmouth College Library Preservation Services (2015); and the Conservation Division at the Library of Congress (2015). Since 2016 it has been produced with support from FAIC and was recently hosted at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (2016).

About the Instructor

  • Sarah Reidell is the Margy E. Meyerson Head of Conservation in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. She developed her interest in these kinds of adhesives while she worked with rare book, parchment, and paper materials in library and archival collections at the the New York Public Library (2006-2016) and Harvard University Library’s Weissman Preservation Center (2003-2006). Sarah received an MLIS and Certificate in Advanced Studies in Conservation from the University of Texas at Austin’s Preservation and Conservation Studies program. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and currently serves as Chair of the AIC Publications Committee.  

Travel Information

The Indiana Historical Society is located in downtown Indianapolis, where there are several hotel options. Participants are responsible for for their accommodations.


Donate to FAICWithout support, the registration fee for this workshop would be $840. FAIC relies on your contributions to support these and its many other programs.

This program is supported by funding 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.

Contact: Sarah Saetren
FAIC Education Associate

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