2001 Courses

Technology and Preservation of Paper Based Artifacts (Dianne van der Reyden)
March 21-23, 2001
Offered through the George Washington University, this course is a three-afternoon survey of the materials, fabrication, deterioration and preservation of documents and artifacts made of paper.  Case studies, based on research of the Smithsonian's own collections, will include not only manuscripts, drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs on paper, but also globes, folding screens, papier mache, and much more.  The course is intended to inform prospective caretakers and appraisers on the nature of these artifacts.  To register contact: GWU Appraisal Studies Program, 202-973-1178, or http://www.gwu.edu/~cce/programs/appraisal/main4.html (course # CWAS 468) or http://www.gwu.edu/~cpd/programs/CWAS/index.html.  SCMRE will not process registration for this course.

Plant Anatomy and Morphology for Objects Conservators and Archaeologists (Harry A. Alden)
April 9-13, 2001  $500.00
This course provides an introduction to and appreciation of plant anatomy and morphology for those dealing with ethnographic objects made from or containing plant materials.  Emphasis is on herbaceous characters of leaves, stems, roots and bark.  Wood anatomy and identification is covered in a separate course.  The information provided will form the basis for construction of reference material sets, recognition of anatomical characters and comparative analysis of unknown samples.  Areas covered include anatomical characters, sampling, microtechniques, and data accumulation from both reference and unknown materials.  The course packet includes a CD-ROM of the class text (600+ pp.) in PDF, a 10X hand lens and other handouts.  Students are welcome to bring in an object for analysis.  Attendees will be selected from the applicants by the SCMRE education coordinator with the faculty.  Do not send payment with your registration.

Removal of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes and Tape Stains (Mary Studt)
April 16-20, 2001
Introductory Lecture: $15.00; Practical sessions and additional lectures: $400.00
Instructors: Elissa O'Loughlin and Linda Stiber Morenus
Pressure-sensitive tapes, often used to repair tears and losses, may cause valuable documents and art work to be irreparably stained, embrittled and cockled.  The aged appearance of such tapes may completely obscure tonal variations and distort the appearance of soluble media.  However, removal of pressure-sensitive tapes can be a complex treatment that may pose risks to the health of both the worker and the object.  This 5-day course includes both lecture and hands-on sessions using a range of treatment options for the removal of pressure-sensitive tapes and the reduction of tape stains.  During the practical sessions, a range of aged, mock documents will be used to demonstrate and practice various techniques.  Additionally, participants are encouraged to bring expendable items with tape and/or tape stains for treatment.  Though the course is primarily designed for practicing conservators, the introductory lecture will include information relevant to the work of museum and archival staff who are not practicing paper conservators.  Those interested in a concise overview of the history and problems associated with the use of pressure-sensitive tape will benefit from the introductory lecture.  Additional lectures and practical sessions may be attended by conservators enrolled in the entire workshop.  The course will include:

  • An introductory lecture about the history and technology of pressure sensitive tapes from 1928 to the present, including descriptions of both rubber-based and acrylic-based adhesives.  This lecture will give an overview of the problems associated with pressure-sensitive tape use.  The lecture may be attended by conservators, archivists, collections managers, etc.

  • Identification of tapes, including lecture sessions with diagnostic charts and practical sessions with a variety of samples.

  • Case histories of tape removal projects.

  • A review of treatment options employing heat, solvents, poultices, suction devices, etc.

  • Practical sessions on the treatment of a selection of naturally and artificially aged samples.

  • Experimental treatments on mock documents and expendable items.

The necessary range of small tools and solvents will be provided; however, participants are encouraged to bring a kit of specialized tools they have found useful.

Limit for introductory lecture: 70
Complimentary refreshments provided
Registration deadline: April 6, 2001

Limit for practical sessions and additional lectures: 12
Lunch provided
Interested applicants should apply by March 23, 2001

Microscopy of Protective and Decorative Coatings (Mel Wachowiak)
May 14-18, 2001  $500.00
This course is the newest offering in our ongoing microscopy series, and will focus on the practical techniques for characterization of paint and varnish systems.  While the equipment and techniques will be discussed extensively, a large portion of the course will be spent in practical laboratory exercises.  Topics will include:

  • sample preparation: this is the most critical factor influencing the quality of microscopy, therefore, materials and methods of preparation for reproducible, high-quality, cost- and time-efficient mounts will be covered.  Attendees will receive molds, resins and other supplies.

  • the stereomicroscope: this under-utilized tool will be profiled as a critical part of microanalysis and documentation schemes; common and novel uses of this tool will be covered.

  • light microscopy techniques: brightfield, darkfield, fluorescence, transmitted light, and combined methods will be discussed and used.

  • documentation: photographic techniques (including film formats and selection criteria), video, and digital techniques will be covered.

  • design of studio space for microscopy, ergonomics, specifying and purchasing microscopes, and other topics will be addressed as time permits.

The course is intended for the conservator, museum scientist, or other professional with some experience in this area.  Attendees will be encouraged to participate fully in dialog during lecture, and discuss their experiences in microscopy.  Attendees are encouraged to bring samples from their practice, and consider bringing their own microscopes to the course.  There will be ample time for open lab to prepare and examine your samples.

Equipment available: a range of stereomicroscopes and laboratory-grade microscopes will be available, including those equipped for brightfield, darkfield, and fluorescence.  Do not send payment with your registration.

Preserving Memories (Dianne van der Reyden)
May 25, 2001
This workshop is part of the annual Military Survivor Seminar for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), to be held at the Marriott Crystal Gateway, Arlington, Virginia.  It will cover the preservation of memorabilia, including documents, newspaper clippings, and photograph albums.  For further information, contact TAPS at http://www.taps.org/seminar2001.htm or call 1-800-959-TAPS.

Technology and Preservation of Furniture, Paintings and Paper-Based Artifacts (Donald C. Williams, Francine T. Lewis)
June 25-27, 2001
Offered through the George Washington University, the course is a three-day survey of the materials, fabrication, deterioration and preservation of paintings, furniture, and paper-based artifacts.  This course will include lectures and demonstrations by SCMRE staff, and is intended to inform prospective caretakers and appraisers on the nature of these artifacts.  To register contact: GWU Appraisal Program, (202) 973-1178, or http://www.gwu.edu/~ccc/programs/index.html.  SCMRE will not process registration for this course.

Technology and Preservation of Glass, Ceramics, Pottery, and Metals (Donald C. Williams, Carol A. Grissom, Pam Vandiver, Martha Goodway)
July 9-11, 2001
Offered through the George Washington University, the course is a three-day survey of the materials, fabrication, deterioration and preservation of glass, ceramics, pottery, and metals.  This course will include lectures and demonstrations by SCMRE staff, and is intended to inform prospective caretakers and appraisers on the nature of these artifacts.  To register contact: GWU Appraisal Program, (202) 973-1178, or http://www.gwu.edu/~ccc/programs/index.html.  SCMRE will not process registration for this course.

Polarized Light Microscopy - Fundamentals and Applications (Martha Goodway and Jan Hinsch, Leica Microsystems, Inc.)
July 16-20, 2001  $500.00
This course furnishes a thorough, in-depth look at the fundamentals of polarized light microscopy and its applications.  It includes principles (wave nature of light, isotropy, anisotropy, and optical activity), mechanics and use of polarizing microscopes, sample preparation, orthoscopy and special methods.  This course will provide the practical application of polarized light microscopy towards the identification of natural fibers and artist's pigments.  Attendees will be selected from the applicants by the SCMRE education coordinator with the faculty.  Do not send payment with your registration.

Technology and Preservation of Furniture Coatings (Donald C. Williams)
July 16-20, 2001
SCMRE and the Wood Finishing Program of the Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) are co-sponsoring this week-long intensive course that will introduce the history, technology, chemistry, properties, deterioration, and treatment of coating materials and colorants, along with color theory, finishing techniques, and treatment and manipulation of existing coatings.  

The course will be organized along three major themes:

  • The History of Coatings - What Was It?

  • Technology of Materials and Processes - What Is It, and How Do We Know?

  • What Will We Do About It? - Treatment Decisions and Processes

The course is in Rosemount, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis, MN, and registration is only through the DCTC, which may be contacted at (651) 423-8362 or 1 (800) 548-5502; e-mail mitchell.kohanek@dctc.mnscu.edu  SCMRE will not process registration for this course.

A Family Day: Preservando los Santos (Jia-Sun Tsang, Donald C. Williams, Dr. Helen Lucero)
August 4, 2001
The National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico (NHCCNM), Albuquerque, NM, and SCMRE invite the public to a jointly organized day-long program of activities about the making and preserving of santos. The program will begin at 10:00 AM and conclude around 4:00 PM. The day's events coincide with the SCMRE exhibition SANTOS: Substance & Soul/Sustancia y Alma, which will be on display at the NHCCNM from June 22 through November 4, 2001.

Activities include:

  • Lectures and presentations by specialists discussing scientific analysis and preservation of artifacts; and the materials and techniques for the making of santos

  • Arts and crafts activities for children of all ages on the making of santos

  • Guided tours of the exhibit

  • An artifact "clinic" where conservators assess the condition of your santos (they will not be appraising them)

  • Demonstrations of the best ways to display, store, and transport santos to minimize damage

  • Demonstrations by santeros/santeras, both from New Mexico and elsewhere

  • A family-oriented education program

Advanced registration is not required.
For further information contact:
Dr. Helen Lucero
Director, Visual Arts Program
National Hispanic Cultural Center
1701 4th Street SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 246-2261, fax (505) 246-2613 

This program is made possible, in part, by the generous financial and organizational support of the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives (SCLI) and The Spanish Colonial Arts Society (SCAS).

Materials Used in the Making of Santos (Jia-sun Tsang, Donald C. Williams, Gaby Mizes)
August 5-7, 2001  $250.00
This three-day workshop will be held on the campus of the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The program will emphasize the nature and manipulation of materials employed in historic and contemporary santos, including wood, ground, paint, and gold leaf.  

Intended for practicing santeros/santeras, novice and experienced alike, the workshop will feature a hands-on studio experience exploring the nature of many materials and techniques employed in the creation and preservation of santos. Specific topics include:

  • wood selection and properties

  • preparation and grounds

  • traditional and contemporary paints

  • gold and metal leaf (including substitutes)

  • tooling and surface texturing

  • studio practices and safety

  • preservation and restoration practices

The workshop will provide each participant with materials (woods, paints, etc.) and reference literature.

Attendance will be limited to 50. Participants will be selected by lottery from applications received by June 1, 2001. The tuition includes lunches, course materials, and local field trips. Do not send in payment until your participation has been confirmed by SCMRE.

This program complements the SCMRE exhibition SANTOS: Substance & Soul/Sustancia y Alma which will be shown at the National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico (NHCCNM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 22 - November 4, 2001. Co-sponsors for the workshop include the NHCCNM, the College of Santa Fe Art Department, the Spanish Colonial Arts Society (SCAS), and the exhibition's co-sponsor, the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives (SCLI). For further information or to receive an application, please contact workshop organizers c/o "Making of Santos Workshop" by mail or fax as listed below.

Interpretation of Archaeological and Historic Metals (Martha Goodway)
August 13-15, 2001  $250.00
Many metals and alloys encountered in archaeology and conservation are no longer industrial materials, and the interpretation of their microstructures is not treated in current texts and atlases.  This course will focus on the principles that enable the microscopist to interpret these microstructures using the optical microscope, and apply them to bronze, wrought iron, steel, brass and other traditional alloys.  Students are encouraged to bring their own prepared samples for discussion.  Text and notes will be provided.  Do not send payment with your registration.

 Wood Anatomy and Identification (Harry A. Alden)
August 20-24, 2001  $500.00
This course provides an in depth study of wood anatomy of temperate taxa and an introduction to the anatomy of tropical species, as relates to their macroscopic and microscopic identification.  Emphasis is placed on temperate species and real-life applications of analysis of samples from wooden artifacts from museum and archaeological contexts (including charcoal).  Areas covered include sampling, microtechniques, character identification and identification of unknowns using reference sets, dichotomous keys and computer applications.  Students are welcome to bring an object for analysis.  The course packet includes a CD-ROM of the class text and other electronic references in PDF, a 10X hand lens and other handouts.  Do not send payment with your registration.

History and Treatment of Works with Iron Gall Ink (Mary Studt)
September 10-14, 2001 Lecture: $75.00; 3-day course: $400.00
Instructors: Hans Neevel, Birgit Reissland, other speakers TBA

This 3-day course (offered twice in one week for two separate groups of participants) focuses on one of the most corrosive media problems found on documents and art works.  The 2-day workshop and 1 interim day of lectures will cover the production of inks from historic recipes; historic drawing and writing techniques; identification, examination and classification of deterioration; and the execution of treatment options, including the use of calcium phytate solution.  The interim day of lectures will feature conservators' research into the history and treatment of works with iron gall ink.  The course represents the first time iron gall ink has been the primary focus of an international gathering in the United States. For additional information on previous courses with these instructors and the general topic of iron gall ink corrosion, see http://www.knaw.nl/ecpa/ink/index.html.

Limit for Interim Day of Lectures: 40
Lunch provided
Registration deadline: August 29, 2001

Limit for the 3-day Course (includes the Interim Day of Lectures): 30
Lunch provided each day
Interested applicants should apply by July 1, 2001 or earlier.  Course will be first come, first served for qualified applicants.

Microscopy of Protective and Decorative Coatings (Mel Wachowiak)
September 17-21, 2001  $500.00
This course is the newest offering in our ongoing microscopy series, and will focus on the practical techniques for characterization of paint and varnish systems.  While the equipment and techniques will be discussed extensively, a large portion of the course will be spent in practical laboratory exercises.  Topics will include:

  • sample preparation: this is the most critical factor influencing the quality of microscopy, therefore, materials and methods of preparation for reproducible, high-quality, cost- and time-efficient mounts will be covered.  Attendees will receive molds, resins and other supplies.

  • the stereomicroscope: this under-utilized tool will be profiled as a critical part of microanalysis and documentation schemes; common and novel uses of this tool will be covered.

  • light microscopy techniques: brightfield, darkfield, fluorescence, transmitted light, and combined methods will be discussed and used.

  • documentation: photographic techniques (including film formats and selection criteria), video, and digital techniques will be covered.

  • design of studio space for microscopy, ergonomics, specifying and purchasing microscopes, and other topics will be addressed as time permits.

The course is intended for the conservator, museum scientist, or other professional with some experience in this area.  Attendees will be encouraged to participate fully in dialog during lecture, and discuss their experiences in microscopy.  Attendees are encouraged to bring samples from their practice, and consider bringing their own microscopes to the course.  There will be ample time for open lab to prepare and examine your samples.

Equipment available: a range of stereomicroscopes and laboratory-grade microscopes will be available, including those equipped for brightfield, darkfield, and fluorescence.  Do not send payment with your registration.

Technology of Furniture Making I: Structure (Donald C. Williams, Francine T. Lewis)
October 1-5, 2001
Offered through the George Washington University, this five-afternoon course will be a demonstration-based presentation of furniture fabrication emphasizing the materials and techniques employed in the harvesting and preparation of lumber, and the cutting and assembly of the components.  Particular emphasis will be on the differences between pre-mechanized and post-mechanized processes.  To register contact: GWU Appraisal Program, (202) 973-1178, or http://www.gwu.edu/~ccc/programs/index.html.  SCMRE will not process registration for this course.

Technology of Furniture Making II: Decoration (Donald C. Williams, Francine T. Lewis)
October 15-19, 2001
Offered through the George Washington University, this five-afternoon course will be a demonstration-based presentation of furniture fabrication, emphasizing the techniques of surface decoration: carving, marquetry, painted and transparent finishes, metal leaf.  To register contact: GWU Appraisal Program, (202) 973-1178, or http://www.cpd.gwu.edu/.  SCMRE will not process registration for this course.

Identification and Care of Video Tapes (Mary Studt)
November 9, 2001  $15.00
Instructor: Sarah Stauderman

This course focuses on the problematic modern medium of video tape.  The preservation of video tape concerns the physical longevity of the medium as well as the availability of playback machinery.  This half-day course, provided by the co-creator of the online Video Format Identification Guide, will cover the identification of different video formats, reformatting techniques, housing and care of the original tape.  To view the Video Format Identification Guide please see: URL: http://paulmessier.com/videoid/

Course Limit: 70
Cost includes refreshments and lunch
Registration deadline: October 26, 2001

Other topics or courses will be incorporated as the SCMRE Education programming evolves.  All SCMRE programs and facilities are accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Please let us know at least two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter will be needed.  For further information on these or other SCMRE Education programming, contact:


SCMRE Education Program
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746

(301) 238-1240 PHONE
(301) 238-3709 FAX