The Istituto per l'Arte e il Restauro in Florence offers a two-year course in "Restoration of Books, Drawings and Prints" as well as a month-long sunnier course on "Restoration of Paper." Both are taught in Italian, but a summer course in Italian is offered for students from other countries.
The two-year course (20 hours weakly) covers the following subjects:
Theory and Technology: study of materials and techniques, of paper as craftsmanship, history and art. Analysis of the causes of deterioration, and methods of treatment.
Restoration of Books and Manuscripts: analysis of examples, cleaning procedures, stain-removal techniques, deacidification and other treatments. Binding and restoration of binding.
Restoration of Drawings and Prints: analysis of examples, cleaning procedures, fixing of inks and colors, unmounting, stain removal.
Chemistry and Biology: biology of animal and vegetable cells, with particular reference to microorganisms and insects that attack library and archival materials. General chemistry, with particular reference to compounds used in restoration.
History of Art: history of painting from 1300 to the end of the 1800s with special reference to the pictorial aspects of individual painters.
Legislation on Cultural Properties: elements of law, economics and business administration; legislation governing the protection of the artistic heritage and objects of historical significance.
Students with previous experience or training may be admitted directly to the second year after passing a qualifying exam. The cost per year is about $3,695.
The summer course on restoration of paper covers historical indications and the composition of a book, of a manuscript, of printing and design; criteria and techniques used in restoration; restoration procedures of paper and parchment; binding and binding restoration; analysis and control of materials and surroundings; conservation projects of bibliographical and archival units and structures. It is taught in either the morning or afternoon, and costs $768. The Italian language course also takes 20 hours weakly, but costs only half as much.
For information and application forms write to Istituto per l'Arte e il Restauro, Palazzo Spinelli, Borgo Santa Croce 10, 50122 Firenze, Italy.
The December PCN, on p. 8, has an account of the experiences of an English student at this school (Julie Biggs).
The last clemnewsletter (which was a long time ago) promised information on a new school just for book conservators, in Rome. There has been no word on whether it has come into existence or not. It was to be a university program for book conservators/restorers, developed jointly by the Council of the Special School for Archivists and Librarians of the University of Rome, and the Institute for the Pathology of the Book.