The Hummingbird!

The Hummingbird!, originally uploaded by DigitalCellulose.


Return of the Evanston map!

Northwestern has published a news story about the conservation treatment and digitization of the (big, stinky) Evanston map.

The oldest printed map of Evanston — discovered several years ago on the verge of disintegration — has been vibrantly restored and made freely available online by Northwestern University Library.

“This map is a very rare and important piece of Evanston’s history,” says University Archivist Kevin Leonard, “and the conservation staff here did an incredible job bringing it back from the grave.”

Published circa 1876 by local surveyor and mapmaker Theodore Reese, the map appears to be the earliest published plat of blocks, streets and alleys in all three of the separate villages — north, south and central — that eventually merged into the incorporated City of Evanston. “So it’s valuable as a relic of Evanston’s past,” Leonard says, “but it also continues to be of use to anyone researching the history of their own or other Evanston real estate, because these were some of the earliest legal property boundaries.”

Here is the video about the map’s treatment and digitization. My arm is featured prominently, but there’s also a shot of me (at 2:20 in) helping Susan place a piece of lining tissue on the back.

Library Restores and Digitizes Oldest Known Map of Evanston from Northwestern News on Vimeo.

Take action! Help save the Kilgarlin Center’s Conservation program!

This is a letter written by Kilgarlin alum Holly Robertson and sent to the PADG email list. As an alum myself, I’m reposting it here so that hopefully more people will see it and provide support for the Kilgarlin Center.

As many of you know, the Conservation Certificate of Advanced Study program of the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin is in jeopardy. Since 1992, the program has been successful in obtaining external funding to support a range of program activities, including key full-time and adjunct faculty positions, conservation lab supplies and equipment, student internships, doctoral fellowships, visiting lecturers, and conferences. Unfortunately, the program’s support from NEH, which has long funded the two conservation instructor positions (the backbone of the conservation program’s curriculum), will end August 31, 2010. Without these positions, the Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record will not be able to offer the Conservation Certificate program.

No conservator students were accepted for this upcoming academic year so that an in-depth program review could take place. That review is in its final stages and has mapped a transformative future for the program. Grant, foundation, and private funding are beckoning but will require the University of Texas at Austin to demonstrate evidence of institutional support. The School of Information has constructed wonderful new conservation labs in its new facility (, but they won’t have a single conservator student to put in them if they don’t have funding in place by October 2009 for the coming years. Funding for the two instructor positions must be stabilized immediately.

Your assistance is requested in the form of letters to Vice President and Provost Stephen W. Leslie that request University support of these two conservation instruction positions and that document the program’s importance to the field. University funding for even one of these positions will enhance the Kilgarlin Center’s ability to attract external foundation or private funding for the other position. Many of you are alums, many others employ Kilgarlin Center grads, and nearly all of you are familiar with the Center’s singular role as a library and archives conservation education program. Thank you for your support.

Hard copy letters can be mailed to:

Steven W. Leslie
Executive Vice President and Provost
University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, G1000
Austin, Texas 78712

Please email copies of these letters to Dean Dillon and Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa:

Andrew P., Dillon
Dean, School of Information

Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa
Director, Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record

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CAS, Conservation Studies – 2005