Sarah Reidell is the Margy E. Meyerson Head of Conservation in the Penn Libraries where she leads and manages the Steven Miller Conservation Laboratory. received an MLIS and Certificate of Advanced Studies in the Conservation and Preservation of Library and Archival Materials from the University of Texas and a BA in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College. A conservator of rare books, paper, and parchment and Fellow of The American Institute for Conservation (AIC), she held previous appointments at The New York Public Library and in the Harvard University Library’s Weissman Preservation Center. Sarah created and co-leads an Ivy Plus Conservation alliance for conservation programs at 13 major research universities and the informal CLAMP (Conservators at the Library and Museum at Penn) which fosters cross-campus information sharing and collaboration.
LAB DESCRIPTION: Established in 2016, the 3200sqft state-of-the-art Steven Miller Conservation Laboratory is responsible for the long-term protection and stability of the Libraries' impressive special collections. Our facility is the first conservation lab in the history of Penn Libraries and is equipped with specialized tools and equipment that conservators need to treat collections, create mats and mounts for exhibits or loans, prepare fragile materials for digitization, and support Preservation program activities like disaster response and recovery. The lab has adjustable work tables for improved ergonomics and flexible arrangements; vented fume extraction trunks and hood; dedicated chemical room for working safely with solvents and acids; vacuum suction table to perform tasks such as flattening or removing disfiguring stains from a manuscript or print; stereo binocular microscope; digital cutting machine; and repurposed historic craft tools and equipment like book presses and sewing frames. The lab plays a unique role in the Libraries' vibrant pedagogical activities with the Penn community by enriching a deeper understanding of materials and structures through class visits, symposia, workshops, and events. The Steven Miller Conservation Laboratory was an early partner of the Penn Green Labs initiative and is committed to greening our laboratory practices to support Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0.