Anna Hathcock

Anna Hathcock

Preservation Students Write about the Training and Experiences

I asked my student assistants to write about their training experiences in Preservation. I have asked each one to write a short paragraph about their work experience. These students do great work and learn through experience the basic principles and best practices of Preservation and Special Collections and Archives. They also develop their hand skills, as well as spatial accuracy, measuring and accurate cutting.

I just started working in preservation this semester, but I took a course that was co-taught by Craig a few years ago titled “The History of the Book”. This course involved a hands-on lab portion where Craig instructed students on how to make our own books, set our own type using a letterpress, and create marbled paper. These experiences really showed me the creativity and variety associated with preservationist librarian work. I adored the course because of its dedication to hands-on learning because this is really what preservation work is all about. During my work in the preservation lab this semester, I have mainly chosen to spend my time creating archival boxes and performing spine replacements on books in need. Spine replacements are especially intriguing for me because they require extreme precision and focus. I have found great satisfaction in the work that I do in the Preservation Lab because it channels my creativity and artistic nature in a way that can be used for the greater good. We aren’t repairing and preserving these materials simply for the fun of it, but we are preserving them so that they may have longer shelf lives and contribute to the learning and discovery of many generations to come. Though the work done in the preservation lab may seem very methodical and repetitive to some, I find solace here because it provides me with a genuine sense of reward and also serves as a sanctuary from the ordinary, constant buzz of academics and student life. After graduation, I hope I can invest in a similar activity that stimulates my creative nature and my desire to do good while promoting mindfulness amidst the chaos of whatever comes next.

(Note- Anna Hathcock graduated from Wake Forest in December, 2018 and is pursuing educational interests in Sweden)