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2024 Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation Workshop

April 5, 2024 at 10:00am4:00pm EDT

Bird Library, 6th floor

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Alexis Hagadorn, Head of Conservation for the Columbia University Libraries, will lead a hands-on workshop, titled “Identifying, Describing, and Understanding Waste Fragments in Bindings.”  The workshop will be held in the Antje Bultmann Lemke Seminar Room and the Joan Breier Brodsky ’67, G’68 Conservation Lab, Special Collections Research Center. The onsite workshop is limited to 15 people, and advance registration is required. To register for the workshop, please email Max Wagh, SCRC Administrative Coordinator, at

Within historic bookbindings, the presence of fragments of recycled print and manuscript can present a tantalizing and mysterious clue to the “earlier lives” of the book’s components. How do we understand what these materials are able to tell us, and how do we effectively record these features? Participants in this day-long workshop will be guided in examination and identification of examples of printed and manuscript waste in bookbindings within the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University Libraries. The day will include an illustrated lecture, opportunities to examine rare books, and a hands-on workshop wherein attendees will explore the material qualities of paper and parchment in books by recreating some of the features they have been studying.

Lunch will be provided for workshop attendees; if you require an accommodation or have dietary needs, please email

Alexis Hagadorn is the Head of Conservation for the Columbia University Libraries, where she has worked as a rare books conservator since 1997. She received an A.B. from Barnard College, and an M.S. and Advanced Certificate in Conservation from the Columbia School of Library Service, spending a final placement year in the Conservation Laboratory of Trinity College Dublin under the direction of Anthony Cains. She worked as a rare books conservator at Yale University, also serving as the first head of Collection Care in its Library. In her role within the Columbia University Libraries, she leads a team of conservators and technical staff who treat and care for all of the physical collections, and she frequently consults on questions of material identification and analysis. She lectures on medieval manuscripts at Columbia and is currently chair of the University Seminar in Material Texts. Outside of Columbia, she serves on the visiting faculty of the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and the Pratt School of Information, where she lectures on library conservation, parchment making, and the history of bookbinding.



This event was first published on January 23, 2024 and last updated on March 18, 2024.

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