MS/LIS student Annabel Pinkney has been awarded a grant from the Caxton Club, a not-for-profit organization devoted to the study and promotion of the book arts. The grant will support her project, “Advanced Studies of the Book Structure,” in which Pinkney is creating a portfolio of at least ten book repair treatments of varying difficulty.
“The treatments will be documented extensively to demonstrate my skill progression,” Pinkney said. “I will also construct three historic book replicas focusing on areas of bookbinding that I have not yet had an opportunity to explore.”
Pinkney is conducting the project with the guidance and support of University Library staff members Quinn Ferris, senior special collections conservator, and Jennifer Teper, head of preservation services. She hopes to conclude the project with a week-long book-making workshop at the Book and Paper Intensive in Sagatauk, Michigan.
As an undergraduate chemistry major at Ohio State, Pinkney worked in the conservation lab as a student assistant, an experience that made her fall in love with the library. Her senior thesis tied together themes of preservation and the importance of providing equitable access to special collections materials.
“Hands-on experience with library materials allowed me to appreciate and connect with the physical structure of the book, and this sparked my interest in the book’s lifecycle and in special collections,” Pinkney said. “In addition, because the conservation lab I worked in was located in the same building as all other library technical services, I interacted and learned from many other technical services librarians on a daily basis.”
Pinkney’s dream is to become a rare book conservator, and her iSchool coursework is helping her build the skill set she needs to reach that goal.
“After taking Bookbinding (IS 590BB) at the iSchool and working as a graduate hourly for Conservation Services, I felt inspired to continue honing my conservation skills and bookbinding craft. In addition, Bonnie Mak’s History of the Book (IS 571) course gave me a much deeper appreciation for the book and its many forms. I believe I will be a more successful conservator because of it,” she said.
After completing her MS/LIS degree, Pinkney hopes to work for a few years as a preservation librarian, metadata librarian, or conservation technician, while volunteering in a conservation lab, ultimately returning to school for a second master’s in conservation science.
News release courtesy of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Information Sciences