The Conservation Education Programs at Columbia University, which have been providing full-time graduate education in conservation and preservation administration since 1981, will be joining the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Texas at Austin in July 1992.
In June 1990, the Trustees of Columbia University voted to phase out the School of Library Service, forcing the Conservation Education Programs to look for a new home. A preliminary investigation of the eight institutions which had expressed a strong desire to acquire the Programs was completed by March 1991. A panel of key professionals in the field was convened to aid the Columbia faculty in making the final decision. This committee met in May, 1991, and narrowed the choices to three institutions. One withdrew, and following the review of the proposals from the remaining two universities in October 1991, the University of Texas at Austin was selected as the most appropriate site by the faculty and administration of the Programs.
Dr. Brooke E. Sheldon, Dean of the GSLIS, expressed great pleasure and satisfaction with the arrangement, saying, "This extends and builds on the Graduate School of Library and Information Science's existing strengths in archives and preservation, and is a perfect fit for the needs of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center the Perry-Castaneda Library, and other major research libraries on campus. In assembling the resources to accommodate the new Programs, we have had tremendous support from our administration, as well as from Harold Billings, Director of the General Libraries, and Tom Staley, Director of the HRHRC."
The University of Texas at Austin is already noted not only for the preservation administration courses offered in the GSLIS, but also for the conservation program in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC), and the preservation program in the General Libraries. The University presently employs 22.25 FTE employees in preservation and conservation.
The Programs, which will be named the Preservation and Conservation Education Programs for Libraries and Archives (PCEP), recognize the need to maintain an uninterrupted flow of trained professionals, even while integrating these Programs into the GSLIS. Accordingly the preservation administrator component will begin in September 1992, and the conservator program in the academic year 1993-94.
The University, through the GSLIS, plans to support the continued development of the PCEP through aggressive fund raising and expanded laboratory space.
Those interested in beginning the Program for Preservation Administration in the Fall of 1992 are advised to contact the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1276 (512/471-3821).