Thanks to all of those who helped organize, publicize, host, and make our Preservation Destination in Pella on August 4, 2014 a success. Four different locations inspired us to see how other institutions run their businesses and preserve history. Members of ICPC attended from Sioux City to eastern Iowa, and we learned about a wide range of architecture and museum display types, genealogy sources, and aspects of archives. We hope even more members plan on coming in fall of 2015 at a new location!
Our first stop of Preservation Destination 2014 was at the Global Pavilion of Vermeer Corporation. This is a training center with classrooms, an auditorium, and the Vermeer Museum. What makes this museum unique is that it is privately owned. The heritage of the community was stressed as this company remains extremely community minded. It started with the simple beginnings of the old work bench area and first major invention to gain attention, the mechanical wagon hoist.
The company is now over 70 years old that has diversified in agricultural, construction, and environmental products that are sold all over the world. Videos near stations are available to see the machinery in action. The auditorium is accommodating for groups to be seated and learn from a video how Vermeer is always “in search of a better way” with its innovations. We even were offered hot chocolate or coffee, a free book about the company and its history, and the gift shop was open.
For those who would like a tour of part of the mile long factory complex this is possible also. However, you must contact them a full day in advance and specify which part of the construction you are most interested in seeing. The Global Pavilion holds interest for all ages.
Our second stop was the Geisler Library of Central College. Our gracious hosts were Beth McMahon, Director of the Geisler Library, and Kyle Winward, Technical Services Librarian. We were particularly interested in how archives can work in a private college. We were given a tour of their archives which is rich in genealogy resources as they have many of the papers of the founder of Pella. Student interns in the history department partnering with the librarians have been active in some oral history research as well, enhancing the purpose of documenting the history of Central College.
We saw a small portion of an extensive miniature book collection donated by Helen Van Dyke in 1996. She had some 2,000 books in her collection begun only in 1975. Her collection ranges from 1844-1996 in age. A classic miniature book is 3 in. x 3 in. and can be read by the naked eye. We learned some preservation tips from both Beth and Kyle that were good take aways for those who attended. In particular it was interesting that archives aren’t there just to collect but for educational value as well, as faculty and students can learn about the art of bookmaking, creative writing, history and literature, and the genre of miniature books through this resource.
Another feature of the archives that will continue to grow is a collection of Romanian music, mostly in scores. It is named in honor of the famous composer George Enescu. There are plans for future additions of various Romanian composers. This again can be used by the music department in particular.
We were all able to step back in time to learn what an opera house was and how the Pella Opera House has been restored. It has a very active history and Present! The architecture was fascinating. Executive Director Kevin McQuade was our tour guide and informed us of many interesting features, stories, and dedication of the town to this beautiful theatre. Thanks to active sponsors a full slate of programs are available including local talent, concerts, professional touring groups, some Central College productions, and free periodic films.
The Pella Opera House has the characteristic Great Hall or community hall on the first floor that is a main feature of all opera houses. Between the glamorous start and now, the building has been the home of many businesses and even for lodging. It once housed a repair garage and even a meat market to name a couple businesses. Now it has been restored meaning it is not exactly as it was but as close as possible with many useful additions (elevators, bathrooms, more visibility from the balcony than originally …). In that process the opera house also gained the Mighty Barton – Iowa’s best restored theatre organ which has a restoration story of its own. The organ and its very interesting pipes were demonstrated for us.
Tours are available for other groups and many excellent programs could be enjoyed if you want to try out the Pella Opera House on your own.
Our last stop at this year’s Preservation Destination in Pella was the Pella Historical Village. Located just blocks from the square, the complex includes several historic buildings and homes. Highlights included lots of beautiful Delftware, and exhibit on Tulip Time, the boyhood home of Wyatt Earp, and an exquisite miniature village depicting life in 19th century Holland. After a self-guided visit through the village, we went on a guided tour of the Vermeer Mill, the tallest working windmill in the country. We learned about the construction of the mill (The parts were built in Holland, shipped to Iowa, and assembled in Pella at the Historical Village in 2002) and how the mill uses only wind power to create flour from wheat. It was a great end to a fun and informative day!
The Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium (ICPC) is offering two fellowships for members to attend Preservation Destination. This annual event is offered free of charge to ICPC members. Fellowship recipients will receive up to $100 to reimburse travel and accommodation costs.
The Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium’s mission is to initiate, encourage, and enhance preservation and conservation activities in and among all Iowa repositories and institutions whose collections include a variety of materials such as audio-visuals, microforms, paper-based, and electronically-stored information for the benefit of present and future generations.
ICPC member (individual or institutional)
Iowa resident who works or volunteers in a museum, historical society, library, archive, genealogical library, government record office, or other institution that preserves the history and culture of Iowa OR student at an Iowa college or university in a relevant discipline (history, museum studies, library science, archival studies, anthropology, etc.) interested in pursuing a career in the aforementioned profession(s)
Live at least 100 miles from the site of the event.
Never before attended Preservation Destination
Fellowship recipients are required to complete a review of Preservation Destination, to be published on the ICPC website.
Please direct questions and send your completed application to Hoeksema@grinnell.edu or mail to:
5709 Hwy T38 South
Lynnville, IA 50153
The Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium (ICPC) has planned a varied and free day of learning and seeing firsthand about preservation for its members. If you aren’t a member yet but would like to attend, you may join on or before August 4. Join online at www.iowaconserveandpreserve.org
Sign Up for the Preservation Destination!
Email Donna Hoeksema at Hoeksema@grinnell.edu . Please use Preservation Destination in the subject line and include your name, email address, institutional affiliation, position, and phone number.
We will see preservation efforts done by a private business, a private college, and local historical associations. Our tours will cover care of objects, paper and books, cloth items, music, architecture, genealogy, and the tallest working windmill in the U.S. There are 4 major stops (a possible nominal fee for one museum). Invite your friends!
This is a museum owned and maintained by a private company. There are a variety of display ideas from the lobby to the main museum. A 15 minute video explains about the history of the company and the scope of its operations.
10:45 – 11:45 Central College’s Geisler Library. 812 University St, Pella
We will have a brief overall tour and have opportunity to see their Archives. They have special donations of a miniature book collection, the richest collection of Romanian music outside of Romania, and the history of the town and college that is also useful for genealogical research.
12-1 Time off for lunch – Windmill Café 709 Franklin St. and other options
1:15-2:15 Pella Opera House. 611 Franklin St., Pella
There is quite a history to the Opera House and an interesting story to the architectural restoration of the Opera House to what it is today. We will receive a demonstration of a theater organ as well.
The Historical Village features a childhood Wyatt Earp home, wooden shoe shop, 124 foot high working grain windmill that can be toured, the Scholte House, and many other buildings as part of the museum.
Save time to shop before leaving Pella at the Dutch bakeries, meat markets, and many other specialty shops.
******For those who would like to spend the night beforehand in Pella to shorten up the driving hours on Monday, there are 8 rooms held for our group at the Royal Amsterdam Hotel at $84 a night. Call soon to make your reservation! This rate is only held until July 3. 641-620-8400 or toll free 877-954-8400
Thursday June 5: Pre-conference Events Digitizing Local Collections 1-4PM, Registration opens at 12:30
UI Main Library Conference Room 2032 Bethany Davis, Digital Coordinating and Processing Librarian, UI Libraries
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, FILLED)
Opening Reception at Pentacrest Museums 4:30-6PM
UI’s Pentacrest Museums: Old Capitol Museum and the Museum of Natural History will be hosting with hors d’vouers, an open house, and gallery tours. (Open to Thursday and Friday participants)
Friday June 6: Sessions and Workshops 9AM-4:30 PM, Registration opens at 8:30 UI Main Library Conference Room 2032
Keynote Speaker – John F. Doershuk, Ph. D., State Archeologist
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.
Book Repair (double session) Susan Hansen, Head of Book Repair with Elizabeth Stone, Student Conservation Specialist, Conservation 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-FILLED)
Making Custom Exhibition Supports, Brenna Campbell, Assistant Conservator & Bill Voss, Conservation Technician, Conservation Unit. They will 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.
Taxidermy Care and Cleaning, Cindy Opitz, Collections Manager, UI Museum of Natural History. Learn how to care for and clean taxidermy animal specimens. Session includes demonstrations and hands on activities.
Mold: Recognizing and Responding to Mold Incidents in Your Collection, Nancy E Kraft, Head of Preservation & Conservation, UI Libraries, will discuss lessons learned while coping with several mold outbreaks on the job and training at the Campbell Center in Mt Carroll, Illinois.
Manuscript Cleaning and Repair, Candida Pagan, Student Conservation Specialist with Mary Sullivan, Conservation Unit. 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.
Thinking Inside the Box: Exquisite and Make-Do Housing for Archival Material, Kären Mason, Curator & Janet Weaver, Asst. Curator, Iowa Women’s Archives. From those pesky crumbling scrapbooks to unusually-shaped artifacts, housing archival materials can be tricky. Even repositories with professional conservators on staff don’t have the resources to give every item or collection kid-glove treatment. What’s a curator to do? Join the curators in the reading room of the Iowa Women’s Archives, where you’ll see examples of exquisite enclosures made in the Conservation Lab alongside simple solutions devised by archives staff.
Optional Tours at 3:30: John Martin Rare Book Room – Hardin Library for the Health Sciences at 600 Newton Road in Iowa City
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)
For further information contact Lucy David
Phone: (319) 338-0514
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
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.
ICPC is an organization seeking to initiate, encourage, and enhance preservation and conservation activities by providing basic education and training.