• News from the BPG Chair

    by Jodie Utter | Aug 15, 2018

    Hello BPG members,

    I've been thinking about a question that came up at the Houston annual meeting: "Why don't more private practice conservators give talks at the annual meeting?" The question was specifically addressed to our group, and it could easily be applied across all disciplines. When I was in private practice I felt crunched for time and rarely felt like I had anything worth presenting, but when I had something unusual, I would present at smaller regional meetings. Looking back, I felt somewhat intimidated by the AIC arena and didn't even consider submitting to AIC. I was afraid of being criticized for treatment decisions, interpretation of the object, etc. I didn't submit to AIC until I was in an institution and shared a technical study. Recently I reached out to Linda Roundhill, chair of CIPP to seek her input. She listed several reasons why conservators in private practice may not be presenting, which I have paraphrased here: financial concerns, lack of technical support (no access to analytical equipment), lack of time, or the object might not be perceived as "important" enough for broad appeal.

    I want members to know that some financial support is available to BPG members in the form of two grants: the Carolyn Horton and the Christa Gaehde grants. One is specifically for BPG members, and the other is for work done that benefits the book and paper field, respectively. These grants offer up to $1,000 (deadline February 1 each year) and can be used to fund travel, attend meetings, to conduct research, etc. Since 2016 eight people have received the Carolyn Horton grant (myself included in 2017), and seven have received the Christa Gaehde grant. In the coming months I hope to share more about these resources and past projects funded. I would like your feedback on this topic: What challenges do you see? Possible solutions? You can contact me with your thoughts at bpg dot jodie dot utter at gmail dot com.

    Group Updates

    For the latest updates, go to the BPG website.

    • BPG Business Meeting minutes from 2018 AIC Annual Meeting in Houston are now available for member review. Please see the minutes here; corrections were due to ssnorris at gmail dot com by August 15, but please let me know if you see anything more. In early fall, members will receive an email with access to the revised Minutes and a link to the online vote for approval.
    • 2019 AIC Annual Meeting programing: Program Chair Jennifer Hunt Johnson, and Assistant Program Chair Eliza Spaulding have begun working on programming for next year's meeting. They are excited to explore ways for the BPG membership to make the most of our annual gathering to exchange information and to serve as a platform for the discussion of field-wide issues. You can share your ideas for programing with us at jenhunt101 at gmail dot com and elizabethspaulding at gmail dot com.
    • Publications: Our current email listserv will be transitioning to a Higher Logic community at the end of August. If you have not used the new AIC online communities yet, please log in and begin to familiarize yourself with their features and function (http://community.conservation-us.org). More information and instructions to follow.
    • Wiki: Thank you to the 40 individuals who contributed to the BPG Wiki in the last year, and everyone who attended the BPG Wiki Session in Houston. The Wiki has new content on several topics with more underway (see the BPG news section for more detail). This year, the Publications Committee will be recruiting a new Paper Wiki Coordinator. Reach out to Denise and Katherine at BookandPaperGroup dot Wiki at gmail dot com if you want to volunteer on any of these projects or suggest ideas.

    The Wiki continues its steady growth, which has been enabled by the reformatting (by some of the volunteers) of the existing chapters into a more malleable structure. There are two new pages: Watermarks in Paper and Accessing Conservation Literature. The Endbands chapter has been significantly updated. More images were added throughout. New compiler groups have formed to update the Humidification and Parchment pages. We have had some volunteers come forward to discuss an update to the Drying and Flattening chapter, and we welcome more. Some historical techniques have been relegated to a section at the bottom of their pages. More help is needed to identify all historical techniques, such as those in the Bleaching chapter, with a few sentences or a reference regarding the reason they are no longer common practice. This year, the Publications Committee will be recruiting a new Paper Wiki Coordinator. Reach out to Denise and Katherine at BookandPaperGroup dot Wiki at gmail dot com if you want to volunteer on any of these projects or suggest ideas.

    Jodie Utter, BPG Chair (2018-2020), bpg dot jodie dot utter at gmail dot com


  • BPG Nominating Committee News

    by Michelle Facini | Oct 27, 2017

    BPG is seeking candidates for Chair and Assistant Program Chair ( two candidates for each position).

    Elections will take place February 2018.

    If you are interested in either of these positions please contact Nominating Committee Chair Michelle Facini, bpg [dot] facini [at] gmail [dot] com

    Position Information

    Click here for a position description. The chance to support your colleagues and secure our future is one of the most important things you can do for the field- please consider sharing your time and expertise! 


  • BPG Annual Meeting News

    by Whitney Baker | Nov 10, 2017

    2018 AIC Annual Meeting

    Thank you to all of our members who responded to the Annual Meeting Call for Papers. The abstract review committee, led by Program Chair Deb Cuoco and Assistant Program Chair Jen Hunt Johnson, has been busily reading submissions and is crafting an excellent program for our 2018 Houston meeting. Calls for submissions for the tips sessions and the Archives and Library Discussion Groups (ACDG and LCCDG) are coming soon, or have been previously announced. We would like to remind our members that we have three discussion groups and two slots per meeting, so the Art on Paper Discussion Group (APDG) is on hiatus during this meeting.

    If you reserve a room at the conference hotel, Marriott Marquis, and end up not needing the room, please cancel as early as possible. Early cancellation (before May 1) is not only considerate, but has a positive financial impact: it allows your colleagues who are on the waiting list to secure a room, and also ensures AIC’s good standing and beneficial costs arrangement with future conference hotels - which use data such as last-minute cancellations to set prices.

    2017 BPG Business Meeting

    Sarah Norris, BPG Secretary/Treasurer, reports that the Chicago BPG Business Meeting minutes have been approved, with forty-six individuals in favor and four abstentions. Thanks to all who took the time to read and vote on the minutes.


  • BPG Archives Discussion Group Annual Meeting News

    by Michelle Facini | Apr 18, 2016

    The 2016 Archives Conservation Discussion Group (ACDG), chaired by Andrea Knowlton and Dawn Mankowski, will feature a panel focusing on emergency preparedness and response – "Innovative Approaches to Disaster Response: Real-Life Tips and Tricks". Tuesday, May 17 from 2:00pm–4:00pm. http://sched.co/4h2F


  • BPG Art on Paper Discussion Group News

    by Henry Hebert | May 01, 2017

    The 2017 Art on Paper Discussion Group (APDG), chaired by  Rachel Freeman, Cynthia Karnes, and Harriet Stratis, will focus on prints produced in large numbers – "Multiple Perspectives on the Treatment of Multiples: Innovative Thinking on the Conservation of Prints." Thursday, June 1 from 2:30 pm–4:30 pm. http://sched.co/8xOg


  • BPG Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group News

    by Henry Hebert | May 01, 2017

    The 2017 Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group (LCCDG), chaired by Angela Andres, Sonya Barron, and Anahit Campbell, will focus on professional challenges that fall outside of immediate areas of expertise – "Unexpectedly Expert: Diversifying your skills to cover all the bases." Thursday, June 1 from 2:30 pm–4:30 pm. http://sched.co/8xOf


  • BPG Education and Programs Committee News

    by Henry Hebert | Oct 17, 2017

    Do you have a workshop idea or institutional event ripe for a symposium? Please contact  Cher Schneider (cher.schneider at gmail dot com), BPG Education and Programs Committee Chair, with any thoughts or suggestions.


  • BPG Wiki: Historical Techniques and Materials

    by Katherine Kelly & Denise Stockman | Nov 10, 2017

    The time has come to address some of the historical treatment procedures on the Wiki. You may have read about some techniques on there and thought "Does anyone still do that?"

    We would like to identify procedures that are no longer in use, and move them to a Historical Techniques and Materials section that we have created at the bottom of each of the Wiki pages that began as a Paper Conservation Catalog chapter. This section can also be used for procedures that predate the Catalog, but would be useful for people to know about. 

    The Alkalization and Neutralization page (written in 1985) has several outdated techniques listed. As an example, we have moved Diethyl Zinc to the new section on Historical Techniques and Materials with a brief comment about its history of use. Can you help us identify others?

    Here is how you can help:

    • Identify a paper conservation procedurethat is no longer in use (there appear to be quite a few in the Wiki).
    • Write a few sentences about how it was performed (existing text can be used) and why it is no longer used. It would be especially interesting to describe evidence of the treatment having been done that can be discovered during the examination of an object. Cite any relevant articles you are aware of, especially those that state the reasons why the treatment is no longer used. 
    • Send it to us so that we can add it to the Historical Treatments section, and you will be credited as a contributor. 

    As you look around, you may notice that several PCC chapters are looking much cleaner and well-organized. For this, we owe our thanks to the reformatting volunteers who responded to the call for help over the summer: Sharon Fickeissen, Michelle Hamill, Jill Iacchei, Clare Manias, and Rebecca Smyrl. This work is ongoing and we thank all who are contributing!