Alexis Hagadorn will be giving a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Monday, October 27, 2014, from 12 to 1:30pm. Her talk is entitled “Unbinding Conservation: Observations on the Past, Present, and Future of Rare Book Treatment.”

Alexis Hagadorn is the Head of Conservation for the Columbia University Libraries, where she has worked as a rare books and special collections conservator since 1997. She is on the visiting faculty of the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science and the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She received a Master of Science in Library Service and an Advanced Certificate in Conservation from the Columbia University School of Library Service and completed an internship year at Trinity College Library, Dublin. From 1993 until 1997 she was a Rare Books Conservator and Collections Conservator at Yale University Library.

The binding of a book provides protection and physical unity to a volume’s contents, but it also has been viewed as a medium to reflect current fashions or an owner’s individual tastes. Rebinding of rare books to address damage or to suit a new owner has been frequently done historically, but a modern understanding of bindings as integral parts of the books themselves can relegate this common conservation treatment to the status of a radical or even destructive action. Through discussion of the broader historical context and selected case studies, this talk will consider the functions of the bookbinding and how attitudes toward its alteration may have evolved, as well as how they may continue to change in the future.

Coffee and tea will be served; attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch.

RSVP is required.