Reports From Scholarship Recipients

Taylor Manley, Buildings and Grounds Associate, 2013 Scholarship Winner

Course: Preservation Maintenance

Location: Campbell Center

Instructor: David Arbogast

Dates: June 20-21, 2013

Course Description: Although the field of historic preservation seems to be dominated by spasmodic restorations of buildings, the hard work consists of the regular, routine maintenance of these resources. This course has been developed to address those needs both in the short-term and in the long-term cycles. It is intended both for those actively engaged in maintenance and for those responsible for the management of the resources.

The instructor, David Arbogast, is an architectural conservator with over thirty years of experience in the field. He brings to the course a wealth of experience and knowledge both from the professional and from the occupational maintenance of historic resources.

Experience: At the Campbell Center, I took a class on Preservation Maintenance and it was great. The instructor and the staff were very handy with information. I also learned about budgeting for ongoing maintenance to help keep costs from sky rocketing and better preservation methods. We made a maintenance schedule as a class project, based off of Brucemore’s operations, which we will be adjusting and turning into our maintenance schedule at Brucemore. The importance of this class was:

  •  To keep Brucemore on the right path of scheduling maintenance and preservation concerns.

  •  To assign tasks to staff and figuring out what projects need to be contracted out.

  •  To look down the road for bigger projects that need to be budgeted for.

  •  To schedule projects sooner rather than later and can be done by Brucemore staff.

Collecting data and pictures are the most important source of condition assessment. Seeing the difference on paper of all the types of maintenance was eye opening. There are daily, weekly, seasonal, annual, and long-term maintenance tasks that we are now looking at. I think that every year we will be updating our maintenance schedule to continue looking down the road to make our preservation maintenance actions. I thank you for this opportunity. ~Taylor Manley

Sue Olson-Lee County, Iowa Historical Society, 2007 Scholarship Winner

With a scholarship from ICPC in August 2007, I was privileged to participate in and complete a course entitled  “Care of Photographic Collections” at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mt. Carroll, Illinois. Identification of photo prints and negatives is essential to determining the preservation methods needed to keep this material in good condition. The deterioration of negatives is highly dependent on temperature and relative humidity. Most important is the identification of “Nitrate Negatives”. Nitrate film remained in production in various formats until the early 1950’s. The main disadvantage of nitrate film is that it is highly flammable and releases hazardous gases when it deteriorates. Large quantities of nitrate film in collections have caused several disastrous fires. While attempting to catalog Lee County Historical Society’s photographs and negatives, I noticed that there were differences of which I was ignorant. The course at the Campbell Center helped me identify these differences. The Campbell Center experience is one of comradeship and learning. The dorm rooms are neither heated or cooled, but fans and space heaters are available. Nourishing morning and noon meals and snacks are furnished by friendly staff . Of architectural interest are the many campus buildings and surrounding dwellings. There is also an excellent preservation, conservation library and computers available during “off” hours. Classes normally meet from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Evening meals are not provided but usually classmates find a local restaurant where they can eat and discuss the daily lessons. My instructor has come to Mt. Carroll for the past 15 years and is a leading expert in photographic conservation and preservation. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to learn from such a teacher. If you are interested in learning about preservation of historic (or precious to you) materials, there are many courses available through the Campbell Center. You can call (815-244-1173) or check out their catalog online Classes are limited to under 12 persons and are attended by curators of museums, collectors of antiques and regular persons. The instructors are internationally known experts in their respective fields. ~Sue Olson-Lee County, Iowa Historical Society

Bill Kreuger, Iowa Masonic Library and Museums. 2007 Scholarship Winner

In 2007 I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship from ICPC to attend the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mt. Carroll, Illinois. I was also able to win an additional $300 scholarship from the NEH in order to attend. The class I took was entitled “Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery” and was offered during mid-July.

The instructors for the course were Hilary Kaplan from the National Archives and Sharon Bennett from the Charleston Museum in South Carolina. Both had extensive backgrounds and training in emergency preparedness, response and recovery. Each had been involved with response and recovery efforts during Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf coast as well as other experiences in their own facilities and elsewhere. There were 11 attendees in the class from all over the country.

The class itself was 4 days long, the first day consisted of lectures while the remaining days were hands-on experiences in actually dealing with emergency response and recovery. The “graduation” consisted of actually dealing with a real-life emergency situation when the class found that various artifacts and materials had been left outside on the quad all night and exposed to water damage from a nearby sprinkler.

The ICPC scholarship program is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of in-depth, state of the art preservation programs at little cost for your institution. The application process takes just a short amount of time. Room fees and most of your board fees are included in the cost of the class. The only meal not covered is the evening meal and often class members got together and went out to local restaurants or purchased items and grilled out on the patio. The breakfasts and lunches provided by the Campbell Center were delicious and filling. Snacks were also available during the day.

As a result of my experience at the Campbell Center, I was able to complete work on an emergency preparedness plan for the Iowa Masonic Library and Museums. This is a project that I had wanted to do for quite some time.~Bill Kreuger Assistant Librarian Iowa Masonic Library and Museums librarian @

Susan Kuecker, Curator of the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa in Cedar Rapids, 2006 scholarship winner.

In 2006 I won an ICPC scholarship to take a class in proper preservation and exhibit techniques for textiles at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mount Carroll, Illinois. I took the class in August 2006 and found it a fantastic experience. I met wonderful people from all over the country and learned what they were doing in their institutions. The instructor was terrific and very practical. I came back to the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa and made a number of changes with help from a grant that I had recieved. This is a terrific opportunity to obtain state of the art training at little or no costs to your institutions. Mount Carroll, Illinois is located just northeast of Clinton, Iowa and is within easy driving distance for most of us. Room and board is included in the cost of the courses and The Campbell Center offers an additional $300 scholarship from NEH for most courses. The scholarship application takes just a few minutes. Without this opportunity my institution simply could not have afforded to send me. I would have still re-organized the textile section and not done nearly as good a job in improving preservation as what I was able to do because of the course.