Archival Three Ring Circus

University Products had a chance to meet new people and catch up with old friends at the Washington Conservation Guild Three Ring Circus earlier this month. On Thursday evening, January 7, conservators from throughout the D.C. area came together at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institution, 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW in Washington D. C.. The meeting is typically the largest of the year with over 100 attendees. Following a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 with vendors that included University Products, conservators had their choice of attending three different sessions. This year, the topics included conservators in social media, imaging and technology and BIG conservation. Representing University Products was John Dunphy, who showcased new magnifying and lighting products.

March Workshop Madness

This month brings a bounty of online and live educational offerings from the major archival organizations here in the US. Check them out and hurry to register for ones that might be of interest. Some of them are even free…

Society of American Archivists is offering a wide variety of live classes this month, including Digital Forensics for Archivists at the New England Archivists Spring 2013 Meeting in Worcester, MA on March 22. (see full list here) as well as numerous on-demand online courses (available any time).

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) will have two Collections Care Webinars: Writing your NEH Preservation Assistance Grant, March 14, 2-4 PM ET and Care and Handling of Multimedia Materials March 26, 2-4 PM ET

New England Archivists’ Spring Conference will take place in Worcester, MA March 21-23. You can see full schedule of the events here.

American Library Association (ALA) has prepared a 4-week online course Fundamentals of Preservation that introduces participants to the principles, policies and practices of preservation in libraries and archives. See full course schedule and other info here. First session is scheduled to start on March 25.

Regional Alliance for Preservation  has several workshops planned for March. Some will take place on location and some online. First up is a seminar on Housing Solutions designed to give practical, hands-on knowledge of preservation materials and constructing housing for collections), presented by Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts.  It will take place on March 13, 2013 9:30AM – 3:30PM in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. See full list of classes here.

Pushing the Envelope at the NEMA Meeting

John Dunphy & Pat Foster, NEMA, 2012The New England Museum Association (NEMA) annual meeting was held in Burlington, VT. November 7, 8 & 9 and University Products was there to debut its new Archival Quality Materials catalog. In the booth was Pat Foster, Vice President of Marketing and John Dunphy, Vice President & General Manager. They displayed a variety of new products that have been added to the product line and illustrated in the 2013 catalog. Attendees got practical ideas and useful tips from top museum experts as they explored this year’s theme, “Pushing the Envelope: Innovation and the Future of Museums.” The conference was an opportunity for museum professionals to meet key colleagues, expand their professional network, and share their opinions in lively discussions with museums big and small. UPI booth at NEMA, 2012Also exhibiting were our New England neighbors which include the Northeast Document Conservation Center out of Andover, MA, Collector Services from Easthampton, MA and Small Corp from Greenfield, MA among others. It was nice to see representatives from our local museum, the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke in attendance as well as our friends from Smith College in Northampton.

NEMA Scholarship
John Dunphy & Rachel Lovett, NEMA, 2012Rachel Lovett, Curator at the Hanover (MA), Historical Society was the recipient of the University Products’ annual sponsorship of the New England Museum Association (NEMA) scholarship. The scholarship helps to offset the cost of attending the annual conference. In addition to her work at the Hanover Historical Society, Rachel attends the Harvard Museum studies program. Her attendance at the conference, this year held in Burlington, VT, allowed Rachel to seek out new ideas and current trends in the field. “I believe that attending NEMA will help enhance my museum skill set at work as well as in school,” Rachel said.

Washington Conservation Guild Meeting

New product for textile restoration - Miniature Suction ToolThe Washington Conservation Guild January Meeting took place on Thursday, January 5th at the S Dillon Ripley Center of the Smithsonian, 1100 West Jefferson Drive.  A reception began at 5:00 pm with talks starting at 6:00pm.  Among the sponsors of the event was University Products.  John Dunphy, who was representing the company, displayed a varietyNew Product - stylish and convenient lighted magnifying glasses of new items including a new miniature suction device, lighted magnifying glasses, and the new publication, Health & Safety for Museum Professionals, a joint publication of the Society of the Preservation of Natural History (SPNHC) and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC).  University Products is the official distributor of SPNHC publications.

New Product - Health & Safety for Museum Professionals book.While in Washington, John also visited the Lunder Conservation Center. Paper Conservator Kate Maynor was kind enough to show him around.  Like other visitors here, John had the unique opportunity to see conservators at work in five different laboratories and studios. The Center features floor-to-ceiling glass walls that allow the public to view all aspects of conservation work— work that is traditionally done behind the scenes at other museums and conservation centers. Interactive kiosks and special displays make it easy for visitors to learn about the importance of conservation and show how to take an active role in caring for public art and monuments, as well as how to care for personal treasures at home.smithsonian institution museum

During his brief visit to D.C., John also had the opportunity to visit friends at the Preservation Department of the Smithsonian Museum of American History, The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Looking Back at SAA Chicago

Chicago proved to be a great venue for the 75th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists (Archives 360). With its array of informative sessions, creative and colorful poster presentations, and a lively exhibit hall, it was hard to expect much more from Archives 360, but more there was. Attendees with time management skills could take advantage of the beautiful late summer weather the City of Big Shoulders provided with plenty to see and do.

university products archival solutions blog Tyrannosaurus rex chicago saa meetingThose who attended the reception at the Field Museum of Natural History were able to get a close-up look at Sue, the largest, most complete, best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered. In May 2000, the unveiling of her 67 million year old skeleton at the Field made global headlines. Since then, more than 16 million visitors have marveled over Chicago’s prehistoric giant. Archivists were treated to a wonderful dinner buffet while wandering the great hall and many exhibits.

Did anyone else take advantage of the wonderful Chicago Architectural Cruise down the Chicago River? Not only did we enjoy a one hour tour showcasing over 40 landmarks of modern American architecture, but we got to see the beautiful lighted skyline from Lake Michigan. The only regret was not going a day earlier when we could have been treated to fireworks! Hurricane Irene was busy battering the east coast while we basked in the warm Chicago sun. A good portion of attendees had flights changed or delayed when trying to get home. The lucky ones were stuck in Chicago for an extra day or two.