AIC's Annual Meeting often hosts pre-meeting sessions that are included with the general registration fee. Topics range from storage containers discussions to dialogues on publishing, and are typically a few hours in length. These pre-sessions can pair with shorter tours or workshops on the two days before General Sessions begin.

Please note that pre-sessions are still being added to the online schedule!

In Houston, these pre-sessions will be held on:
  • Tuesday, May 29
  • Wednesday, May 30
Purchasing tickets is not necessary, but creating your plan in Sched and adding sessions you're interested in will help us plan the right room size.

The following sessions will take place prior to the meeting, but are ticketed symposia:

Leather in Book Conservation

A Pre-session Symposium 

Tuesday, May 29 • 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, $99 including lunch

Be part of the first AIC symposium devoted to Leather in Book Conservation.   

Leather has long been used as a repair material for damaged leather bindings. The working properties of historic leathers can be very different than modern ones. In recent years, conservators have begun to employ other materials, such as paper or cast acrylic, as an alternative to leather in book conservation treatments. Tanned animal skins offer less long-term stability and may be more difficult to prepare than other materials, but may also provide better strength and flexibility in a functioning book. Should conservators continue to employ leather using traditional book repair techniques on leather bindings? Should we abandon the use of tanned skins in favor of more chemically stable materials? Do alternative book repair materials really stand up to the mechanical stresses of use? Be part of the debate and register for the symposium.

Here is a brief sampling of the talks:

  • A virtual tour of J Hewit & Sons – discover how bookbinding leathers are produced. 
  • An exploration of over 50 years of book conservation at the Boston Athenæum.  
  • A comparison of the use of customized acrylic cast into reusable silicone molds as an alternative to traditional methods
  • An examination of SINTEVA Cuir as an alternative to leather
  • A study of the applications of Japanese papers as a leather replacement
  • An evaluation of the characteristics of bindings suitable for repair using tanned leather and a summary of the training needed to execute these repairs and an exploration of the suitability of cosmetic treatments that may alter the appearance of a historic binding.
  • A panel discussion of the Library of Congress’s treatment protocols and case studies of when traditional leather or other materials were used.
  • A report on the leather discussion group’s study on why modern leather deteriorates faster than older leather  

Read a complete listing of talks and abstracts. 

Whose Cultural Heritage? Whose Conservation Strategy?

A Pre-session Symposium

Wednesday, May 30 • 8:30 am to 4:15 pm, $99 including lunch

Be part of AIC’s first Symposium on diversity, equity, inclusion and access in cultural heritage preservation. The Symposium will be divided into two parts. 

Part One will focus on the changing ways that museums and conservators are engaging with the diverse communities from which their collections originate. Sessions include:

  • A panel focusing on new resources to assist conservators and collection care specialists in working collaboratively with Native American communities. The panel will also focus on collaborative conservation case studies from the National Museum of the American Indian  
  • A discussion of a recent survey on the effectiveness of Australian museums outreach efforts to the Aboriginal community.
  • A Case Study Lighting Round – hear how four different organizations engaged with diverse communities

Part Two will focus on barriers to promoting a more diverse workforce in cultural heritage conservation and how can they be overcome. What success stories are out there and how can they be reproduced. Sessions include:

  • A review of the findings of the July – Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey which confirms a lack of diversity within the conservation field. Learn about some of the programs designed to foster diversity within the field
  • A discussion of the WUDPAC research study to assess the WUDPAC curriculum content and delivery through a multicultural lens 
  • A panel of colleagues shares their individual journeys and discusses the obstacles they faced in becoming part of the conservation community.

This program will be highly interactive as well as informative. Read a complete listing of talks and abstracts.