Skip to main content

Wunsch Conservation Laboratory reference collection

Identifier: TC-0001

Scope and Contents

The Wunsch Conservation Laboratory reference collection comprises approximately 250 volumes on topics related to bookbinding, papermaking, and the preservation and conservation of distinctive collections as well as additional materials assembled as a reference collection for the Laboratory. Included in the reference collection are monographs, scholarly journals, periodicals, numbered editions of publications, conservation tools and sample materials, and laboratory notes on hand bookbinding, conservation treatments, housing of collection items, and the creation of cradles and mounts for collections items. Materials in the library have been accumulated by preservation and conservation staff members over the course of the Laboratory's existance. Compilers of the collection may include: Kate Beattie, Jana Dambrogio, Heather Kaufman (née Caldwell), Ayako Letizia, Christine McCarthy, Nancy Carlson Schrock, and Ann Marie Willer.


  • 1905 - 2015


Language of Materials

Volumes in this collection are predominantly written in English, some French language volumes are also included.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open. Advance notice is required for use.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Copyright of items in this collection may be held by respective creators.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be used for research and hands-on teaching.

Historical Note

The Wunsch Conservation Laboratory was founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2002. Previous to 2002, MIT Libraries solely performed preservation work, including repairs, shelf preparation and commercial binding. In 2002, with the generous support of E. Martin (1944) and Ethel Wunsch and an anonymous donor, the MIT Libraries were able to renovate and expand preservation space in the basement of Hayden Library to create the E. Martin (1944) and Ethel Wunsch Conservation Laboratory. The space increased in size from 1740 to 2660 square feet and provided equipment for the conservation of the Institutes’ rarest books, manuscript collections, and archival records. The laboratory joined the staff of the Institute Archives and Special Collections in 2016. In 2019, the laboratory joined the newly minted Department of Distinctive Collections (DDC).


250 volume(s) (approximately 250 volumes)

6 box(es)


The Wunsch Conservation Laboratory reference collection comprises a collection of published materials, sample materials sets, and informational notebooks compiled by the Laboratory. Topics covered include bookbinding, papermaking, and the preservation and conservation of distinctive collections.


Collection is arranged into three series: Published Materials, Conservation Sample Materials, and Laboratory Notes.

Volumes in the Published Materials series are arranged into subseries by topic, following the original order. Volumes within each subseries have been intellectually arranged in alphabetical order.

Conservation Sample Materials have been arranged intellectually by types and title.

Laboratory Notes has been arranged into three subseries: Hand Bookbinding; Treatments; and Housing, Cradles, and Mounts. Materials within each subseries are intellectually arranged alphabetically.

Other Finding Aids

Published volumes in the Wunsch Conservation Laboratory reference library as of 2017 are also cataloged on Library Thing.


All volumes in the library have been included in this collection.
Wunsch Conservation Laboratory reference collection
Chris Tanguay with the assistance of Laura Bergemann, Kate Beattie, Jana Dambrogio, Ayako Letizia, and Jennifer Pellecchia.
2020 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English. Non-English titles have been retained and have not been translated.

Revision Statements

  • 2020 November: Additional reference materials added to collection.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US