Russian Museum Officers Tour Preservation Department, October 2002

On October 7th, 2002 the UI Preservation Department hosted a tour for twelve Russian museum officers. The group was traveling the U.S. as part of an international visitor program on museum management.

Nancy Kraft welcomed the visitors on behalf of the department and the library Director. She then offered comments on our disaster response planning and the various initiatives involved. Gary Frost also welcomed the group and presented a display of binding models that represent the long history of sewn board structures associated with the Eastern Church tradition. Jim Croft offered background and discussion on bone tool technology and linen thread. Kristin Baum described our current efforts to digitize the department monitoring of storage conditions, which are based on Climate Notebook/ PEM datalogger technology developed at the Image Permanence Institute. Kristin also described her project on natural dyeing of hand made papers. Lucy David, our volunteer in the Conservation Lab, described her work in book repair. Finally, Carlo Mori described his training and projects as an Intern in the department.

Russian visitors and Gary Frost (in blue) listen to Jim Croft (center) explain how the Russian import of flax played an important role in bookbinding history.

Russian visitors and Gary Frost (in blue) listen to Jim Croft (center) explain how the Russian import of flax played an important role in bookbinding history.

The group was enthusiastic throughout the one-hour tour and asked many important questions. The entire exchange was supportedby very talented translation, but the immediacy of the exchange was apparent by all the animation, on both sides.

Their visit to the University of Iowa also included a visit to the Iowa Women’s Archives, the Museum of Natural History, University of Iowa Museum of Art, and the Medical Museum in the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Their trip to Iowa is also to include visits to the Iowa Children’s Museum, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum & Library, among other stops.