SLIS Proseminar - Tim Barrett: "Research on Historical Papermaking Methods and Strategies for Preservation of Paper-Based Records"

September 11, 2014 - 4:30 pm to 5:15 pm

3092 LIB

Professor Barrett writes of his proseminar lecture:

Paper tends to be receding in importance in the world of library and information science or at least increasing confidence in high resolution scanning technologies and online access to books might suggest that trend. But is that all there is to the story? Do we really need paper backup copies of important texts, and if so, how do we ensure they will last as long as possible? I plan to share with you my interest in the amazing permanence of 15th century European papers and describe how understanding more about how they were made can inform the manufacture of modern archival paper and the care and conservation of artistic and written records on paper. Paper samples will be on display. For a preview, you can watch an 11-minute film about how the Center for the Book makes papers for conservation and book arts applications on the Oakdale campus at

As with many of our unpretentious faculty, you may never know what staggering experience is in our midst unless you ask, or dig, for information. Following is an excerpt from the bio used for Professor Barrett's spring 2014 lecture given at Yale:

"Timothy Barrett, director of the Center for the Book at the University of Iowa, has devoted his career to preserving and enhancing the art of hand-papermaking. As the founding director of the center’s papermaking facilities — the only academic program in the United States that focuses on producing traditional Western- and Japanese-style papers and teaching-related techniques — he has trained a generation of papermakers to create conservation-sound paper. Among his many conservation projects, he and his co-workers fabricated the handmade archival paper used to re-house the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution as part of the “Charters of Freedom Re-encasement Project” in 2002. In 2009, Barrett was awarded a “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. In 2012, he was profiled in The New York Times Magazine."

For further information on Professor Barrett, visit his SLIS Research Profile page or his Center for the Book page.

The SLIS proseminar offers students early program exposure to faculty members and their research interests, as well as an integrated view of different professional fields of library and information science.