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Subject: Professional qualifications

Professional qualifications

From: Miriam K. Tierney <tierneym_ajc>
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 1999
I found Niccolo Caldararo's letter extremely interesting as I have
been looking for a place to train in book conservation for the past
year here in New York City.  I too have been following the ads for
positions in conservation and have been extremely surprised at what
the qualifications have been to fill a technician's position.  I
worked for two years as a conservation technician at a local
Historical Society while working on my MLS.  Unfortunately, my
school had no conservation courses offered, so I was fortunate
enough to be referred to a brief but excellent conservation training
course at Cornell University for six weeks.  I continued working as
a technician and the collections I worked on benefited from my

I then completed my MLS, the funding for my technician job ran out
(it was an NEH grant that paid my salary) and I was out of a job
with no prospects here in New York City available.  I fell into
archival work as a means of support and thought I might find some
place to continue my training in book conservation.  There does not
seem to be a full course study in New York since Columbia closed,
and going the apprentice route has proved to be impossible!
Exploring internships has not proved to be my answer as I have been
told in some places that I do not have enough experience, and
believe it or not, my MLS has made me over qualified for technician

It seems somewhat ironic that AIC posts jobs where they expect
conservators to have a degree in conservation when there is a
limitation on where one can go to qualify themselves.

Miriam K. Tierney

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:64
                Distributed: Thursday, February 4, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-64-010
Received on Tuesday, 2 February, 1999

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