Registration Now Open for ICPC SOS (Save Our Stuff) Conference 2014




Scheduled Topics, Speakers, and Events include:

Thursday June 5: Pre-conference Events

Friday June 6: Sessions and Workskhops

Digitizing your local collections can be an excellent way to increase access and promote engagement. In

this workshop Bethany Davis will instruct participants in current best practices, planning and workflows for

digitization and preservation of local collections. There will also be a guided tour of our new Conservation

Lab and collections digitization spaces. (Limited to 20 participants, pre-registration required)

Digitizing Local Collections 1-4PM

Bethany Davis, Digital Co-ordinating and Processing Librarian, UI Libraries

Kraft will discuss lessons learned while coping with several mold outbreaks on the job and training at the

Campbell Center in Mt Carroll, Illinois.

Mold: Recognizing and Responding to Mold Incidents in Your Collection

Nancy Kraft, Head of Preservation, UI Libraries

Recent archaeological finds on the University of Iowa campus resulting from “unanticipated discoveries”

during construction of flood recovery projects will be discussed with an emphasis on explaining the regulatory

context within which the finds occurred and what we’ve learned about the archaeology of Iowa City.

Keynote Speaker – John F. Doershuk, Ph. D., State Archeologist

Join us at UI’s Pentacrest Museums: Old Capitol Museum, and the Museum of Natural History for the

ICPC SOS 2014 Opening Reception. They will be hosting with hors d’vouers, an open house, and gallery

tours from 4:30-6 on Thursday evening.

Opening Reception at Pentacrest Museums 4:30-6PM

Book Repair double session

Susan Hansen, Head of Book Repair with Elizabeth Stone, Student Conservation Specialist, Preservation Unit

In this hands-on, double length session, participants will learn to perform a reback on a book with a torn

cloth spine. Steps will include replacing the damaged spine with new cloth and adding back the original

title piece. Tools and books will be provided. (Limited to 10 participants)

Brenna Campbell and Bill Voss will be working together to demonstrate how to display books for an exhibition.

They will demonstrate construction of a custom fitted polyester sheet cradle and non-damaging

methods of securing an opened book to the mount with polyethylene straps.

Making Custom Exhibition Supports

Brenna Campbell, Assistant Conservator & Bill Voss, Conservation Technician, Conservation Unit

Registration Rates*: Please go to Conference Room 2032 for

your registration packet starting 12:30PM on June 5 and 8:30AM on June 6.

For further information contact Lucy David


Phone: (319) 338-0514

John Martin Rare Book Room – Hardin Library for

the Health Sciences at 600 Newton Road in Iowa City

Learn how to care for and clean taxidermy animal specimens. Session includes demonstrations and handson


Taxidermy Care and Cleaning

Cindy Opitz, Collections Manager, UI Museum of Natural History

This demonstration will cover dry cleaning materials and techniques, media testing, adhesive preparation,

and basic mending of manuscript materials. The session will be supplemented with hands-on work with

dry-cleaning materials.

Manuscript Cleaning and Repair

Candida Pagan, Student Conservation Specialist with Mary Sullivan, Conservation Unit

Three 0ptional tours will be available

Friday June 6, at 3:30 for no additional cost.

Office of the State Archeologist – Clinton Street

Building at 700 South Clinton St. in Iowa City

Museum of Natural History Collections Tour-

17 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City (Limit 10)

Optional Tours:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who

requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Lucy David in advance at 319-338-0514


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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


Save the date! ICPC’s S.O.S. (Save Our Stuff!) Annual Conference June 5&6, 2014

ICPC’s S.O.S. (Save Our Stuff!) Annual Conference

At The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Thursday June 5:  Pre-conference Events - 1-4pm

Digitizing Local Collections:  Special afternoon workshop, limited to 20 participants so register early.

Reception at the Pentacrest Museums:  4:30 – 6pm

Friday June 6:  SOS Sessions and Workshops

Opening Speaker – Office of the State Archaeologist

Making Custom Exhibition Supports

Book Repair (double session, limited to 10 participants)

Mold:  Recognizing and Responding to Mold Incidents in Your Collection

Taxidermy Care and Cleaning (limited registration)

Manuscript Cleaning and Repair

Thinking Inside the Box:  Exquisite and Make-Do Housing for Archival Material

Optional Tours:

Office of the State Archaeologist
- John Martin Rare Book Room, Hardin Library for Health Sciences
- Museum of Natural History Collections Tour

Detailed descriptions and a downloadable registration form will will be posted soon.
Thursday Digitization Workshop, $30 ICPC members, $40 non-members

Friday:  $50 ICPC members, $60 non-members

Hotel information:


Heartland Inn – 319-351-8132

87 2nd Avenue

Coralville – near Old Chicago

Special Rate – $78

10 rooms held until May 29

Shuttle available that leaves 20 past each hour, returns 10 til each hour; can arrange to drop people at the Library and pick up at the end of the day.  The do have a left luggage area if needed.

Hampton Inn – 319-339-8000

4 Sturgis Corner and Riverside Drive

Iowa City

Rooms – 1 King

$109 (University Rate)

10 rooms held until May 1

Iowa House – 319-335-3513

2 blocks from UI Library in IMU Building

Rooms – 2 doubles or 1 queen

$85 not renovated (from 10-12 years ago or earlier)

$110-125 – renovated last summer

10 (5 in each category) rooms held until May 1

Marriott Hotel and Conference Center – (800) 228-9290

Iowa River Landing


$139 (Special Rate)

Held until May 15

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized


Preservation Destination 2013–DeSoto Wildlife Refuge/Bertrand Museum

We are so glad for those who came, enjoyed and learned from our Preservation Destination 2013 in western Iowa and Omaha.  Attendees came from as far away as Sioux Center, Sioux City, and eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids and Tama).  Be sure to plan for next year’s event!

Stop 4 – DeSoto Wildlife Refuge/Bertrand Museum

Missouri Valley is the home of the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge/Bertrand Museum in the western part of Iowa.  This institution has a two-fold focus.  It is a wetland home for many wildlife, some permanent and some migratory.  With the mild climate years, there has been a large increase in migratory birds choosing to stay all winter.  There is access to viewing at a distance with scopes making this a popular spot.

Dean Knudsen, curator of the Bertrand Museum, was our host.  He started with a powerpoint presentation showing us the origins of the Steamboat Bertrand find which sunk in 1865 and was discovered in 1968, and housed in this museum since 1981.  After the discovery, objects were prioritized to be restored, some of the metal artifacts in part by the Gerald R Ford Conservation Center which we had just toured this morning.

We then fast forward to rescuing the Civil War era artifacts again, this time from the 2011 flood.  In a massive volunteer effort organized by the experts all of the museum’s contents were removed before the flood hit its peak.  Now began the process of documenting every piece to improve records while they had this opportunity.  Finally in 2013 the archaeological discoveries have been returned to their home at the museum.

Like any museum not every piece they own is visible but some are in storage.  What is unique is that most of their storage is visible in crates and storage cabinets behind the displayed pieces.  It is an intriguing and effective way to display what there is.  It also keeps the visitors coming so they can see what new thing has been featured since last time.

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Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Preservation Destination Visits


Preservation Destination 2013–Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center

We are so glad for those who came, enjoyed and learned from our Preservation Destination 2013 in western Iowa and Omaha.  Attendees came from as far away as Sioux Center, Sioux City, and eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids and Tama).  Be sure to plan for next year’s event!

Stop 3 – Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center

Omaha is the home of the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center.  It is a regional conservation facility that is part of the Nebraska State Historical Society.  As a regional facility it offers its services to all surrounding states and even farther away than that.

You must make an appointment to enter the Conservation Center.  Near the entrance are very interesting displays in an adjoining room of President Gerald R. Ford throughout his political career and his earlier years.  He was born in Omaha, Nebraska.

So what does a conservator do?

 We were hosted by the two conservators, Kenneth Bé and Deborah Long, and saw some of their work and some of the assistants at work.   They examine and treat objects, assess and survey collections, perform educational activities, consult on collection care (on and off display), and conservation.  Emergency preparedness is another aspect they assist with.

We saw:

Kenneth Bé is the painting conservator.  He has many projects going at a time.   The pieces we saw were being cleaned, tears repaired and painting retouched, and much more.  Some are of famous artists, while some are more locally known.  He creates his own paints and had an example of an under-drawing.

Deborah Long is the objects conservator.  They had gold frames, art work being cleaned of smoke damage, leather work, sculpture, and many others being worked on.  The conservatory includes instructions for proper care to keep the item in shape when items are returned to their owners.  She discourages dust cloths but instead recommends the brushes shown in the picture with a vacuum sucking up the dust.

Deborah Long also showed us the paper conservator room.  At present this position is not filled but they have a humidification table that can help relax folds or curves even from fabric.  It also has been a wonderful way to remove stains while preventing the wicking out to the surface.  Instead the stain is pulled straight down.  She also shared with us the idea and source of a microchamber box which absorb the off-gas of acidic materials.  Although these are more expensive storage containers, they can be seen as an insurance as these have been shown to work for many years.

Humidification table

Humidification table

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Posted by on December 16, 2013 in Preservation Destination Visits


Preservation Destination 2013–Council Bluffs Public Library

We are so glad for those who came, enjoyed and learned from our Preservation Destination 2013 in western Iowa and Omaha.  Attendees came from as far away as Sioux Center, Sioux City, and eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids and Tama).  Be sure to plan for next year’s event!

Stop 2 – Council Bluffs Public Library

Our Council Bluffs Public Library tour included the layout of their approximately 15 year old building, still considered new by many people!  It is built in the Prairie school style as evidenced by the pictures of natural lighting and open space.


We also were given a tour and explanation of their Special Collections.  Last year we saw an archive of a higher education library so this was very interesting to see how a public library archive functions.  Mary Carpenter, archivest, explained that they housed much about the community and its citizens, including General Grenville M. Dodge.

A public library does have its concerns as they try to house materials in what space they have.  They also try to find other institutions that could house a type of material more adequately.  A collaboration between historic institutions for a county or area is highly beneficial.

One of the biggest projects is a digitization of negatives taken by the Council Bluffs newspaper over a period of years.  When the newspaper moved to a new building, the public library received a donation of thousands of negatives.  The library is very creatively using these negatives to bring the Special Collections alive to the public using Flickr.  Once a photo is posted sometimes people respond to it offering more information about the event or people.  It has met with great success.

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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Preservation Destination Visits


Preservation Destination 2013–Historic Dodge House in Council Bluffs, Iowa

We are so glad for those who came, enjoyed and learned from our Preservation Destination 2013 in western Iowa and Omaha.  Attendees came from as far away as Sioux Center, Sioux City, and eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids and Tama).  Be sure to plan for next year’s event!

Stop 1 – Historic Dodge House in Council Bluffs

Preservation Destination 2013 began on September 22 featuring the Historic Dodge House (for those who drove early to be at the morning events).   Two of General Grenville M. Dodge’s claims to fame are his Civil War success and his railroad career.   We learned about the history of the Civil War and some of the major generals. General Dodge has been called “The greatest railroad builder of all time”.

Historic Dodge House

Historic Dodge House

The Victorian home we toured was built in 1869 on the edge of the frontier and overlooked the Missouri Valley.  Council Bluffs, Iowa was so memorable to General Grenville M. Dodge during a railroad survey in his younger years that he chose it as his home, first in 1853 and up to 1916.  It is kept as a period home but the preservation and display methods are very interesting.  They have many original décor of the Dodge family.  They have had many items that were earlier sold or inherited returned to the site, others are period furniture.  Some rooms have original and some have reproductions of wallpaper.  Some items are gifts for General Dodge.

Even though it is a period home, they try to show something different or in a new way.  For example, during their Christmas tours the house is arranged with some pieces that normally are not displayed.  This offers freshness to the audience and preserves the pieces displayed to have a rest time from lighting or stress on pressure points such as seams.  They use their closet spaces for display and not only for storage.

Finally the historic neighborhoods have developed into active supporters for the Dodge home as volunteers for their many events throughout the year.  They also have supported the preservation of the neighborhoods.  We received a Gibralter Neighborhood Garden Walk handout with the addresses of homes with the history of its original owners, time built, and the style of home it represented.  No two homes are alike in these blocks around the Dodge home.  This is one of three of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.  What a great way to support your registered national historic landmark by keeping the neighborhood involved, maintained, and alive.

We encourage those who could not come to this year’s Preservation Destination to visit this museum.  They have much to offer, and we learned a lot by being there.

Look for future posts detailing all four stops on the 2013 Preservation Destination!


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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Preservation Destination Visits


Preservation Destination A Success!

This fall’s ICPC Preservation Destination took us west to Council Bluffs and Omaha. Our tours of the Council Bluffs Public Library, the Dodge House, the Gerald Ford Conservation Center and the Bertrand Museum were great!  Stay tuned for a full report.



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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized



Hello Friends of ICPC,

Our 3rd Preservation Destination is coming up on Monday, September 23, 2013 in the Council Bluffs, Omaha, and Missouri Valley area.  You won’t want to miss it.  This is a planned event for YOU, our members.  RESERVE NOW!

For those who want to cut down on travel time Monday morning, you are welcome to arrive Sunday night, the 22nd. (There are hotels in the area – you must book your own.)  If you are interested, meet at 4pm for the last general group tour at the Historic Dodge House at a cost of $7 each.  We can eat together or you can opt to try someplace on your own.  Very likely we will explore historic neighborhoods that evening.  Your lodging is of your own choosing.

On Monday Sept. 23, we begin by featuring the Council Bluffs Public Library from 9 – 9:40.  We’ll see how this relatively new library space has been planned/used and view active Archive projects. 

From10:15-12 we’ll be at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha.  This is a rare chance to see in person how a conservator works, their equipment, and learn the many ways they can help any group or institution.  

After lunch, we conclude with time at the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge and Bertrand Museum, seeing how these two institutions interweave.  The Bertrand Museum has just moved back into their facilities after evacuating before the 2011 floods.  We will hear and see how an institution handles such moves, having a storage facility arranged for emergencies, and  functioning without its normal facilities.  Besides that we’ll see their fantastic collection.  An interesting tie-in is that the Ford Center has assisted the Bertrand Museum with some of their original finds.

So plan to be in Council Bluffs on September 23.  You must be a member of ICPC to participate but you can join that day if you would like to come.  To make your reservation to Preservation Destination, please e-mail me, at the address below, by Friday, Sept. 6.  Space is limited!!!


Hope to see you there!

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center – One of Our Exciting Destinations for the Upcoming Preservation Destination!


We invite you to join us for our Preservation Destination event on September 23, 2013. We will be exploring sites in and around Western Iowa including The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The Ford Center’s staff offers a wide variety of professional conservation and preservation services to historical, cultural, educational, private, and corporate clients in Nebraska and the surrounding region.  This could involve:  examination and treatment of objects, assessments of storage and exhibition techniques and many other factors, surveys that can be used as a tool for long-range preservation planning, consultation, lectures and workshops for educational purposes , and emergency preparedness plans.  For more information about their services and location check their website NSHS.GRFCC@NEBRASKA.GOV.

For further information, download a GERALD R. FORD CONSERVATION CENTER BROCHURE.

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Uncategorized



Save the date Monday, September 23, 2013 and be our guest at our ANNUAL PRESERVATION DESTINATION EVENT. This year it will be in Western Iowa and just over Iowa’s border in Omaha, NE.

Tentative schedule:

The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center:Morning Tour and Open Questions Time
The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center preserves cultural, historical, artistic, and educational collections through conservation and preservation activities. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the Ford Center is a regional facility that provides preservation services for clients in the central region and throughout the world. These services include consultations, assessments of collection needs, surveys of treatment needs, educational and training opportunities, treatment of collection materials, and digital imaging services.
We will have a rare look into the world of the professional conservator at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center. Conservators are important resources for any of our institutions in many more ways than only restorations and repairs that are beyond what can be done locally.

Check their website for more information:

Lunch at your own expense

DeSoto Wildlife Refuge and Bertrand Museum: Afternoon Tour and Open Questions Time
1)Nature Restoring Civil War era artifacts from Nature’s hold:
Migratory birds, wetlands 1) Archeological collection of 200,000 artifacts from a
buried hull of the Steamboat Bertrand, sunk in 1865 and
discovered in 1968.
2) Visitor’s Center houses these artifacts since 1981. It was
evacuated before the 2011 flood and will soon be in use again.
We will be seeing the refuge as the move is happening back into their facility. They have much to share from the archaeological discoveries and restoration to evacuation to planning and organization.
Check their website for more:

More details will be coming in later announcements.

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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Uncategorized