Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639; Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

June 13, 2008 (REVISED June 17, 2008)

Library of Congress Hires Four Preservation Research Scientists

Hiring Marks Launch of New Preservation Research Initiative

To meet the challenges of preserving traditional and new media, the Library of Congress has hired four preservation research scientists as part of a multi-faceted preservation research initiative. Housed in the Preservation Research and Testing Division of the Library’s Preservation Directorate, the initiative will include the opening later this year of two "green" energy-efficient laboratories—a chemical and mechanical properties laboratory and an optical properties laboratory. The initiative will also include a new center to safeguard and make accessible the Library’s rare and valuable preservation science reference collection.

"We are fortunate to have these new scientists on the Library’s team," said Dianne van der Reyden, the Library’s director for preservation. "Their wide range of knowledge and skills complement those of our talented staff. This aggregate expertise, along with the reopening of the Preservation Research and Testing Division’s refurbished laboratories by the end of the year, will allow the Library to develop preservation strategies for traditional, audiovisual and digital collections in the 21st century."

Christopher S. Coughlin received a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in polymer science from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has held a variety of governmental positions, including six years at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

Lynn Brostoff received a master’s degree in polymer materials science from the University of Cincinnati and master’s in art history (and certificate in conservation) from New York University. She also holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She has worked at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Conservation Institute and the National Gallery of Art.

Fenella France received a Ph.D. in textile science from the University of Otago in New Zealand. She has worked as the Smithsonian Institution preservation scientist on the Star-Spangled Banner project, as scientific analyst and project manager for the World Trade Center 9/11 Project and as conservation scientist and environmental consultant with the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Jennifer Wade received a Ph.D. in earth sciences from Boston University. She previously held a temporary position as a physical scientist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division of the Library of Congress.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 138 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation on-site in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning Web site at www.loc.gov. Through its Preservation Directorate, founded in 1967, the Library is a leader in preservation awareness, education, research and treatment of library materials. For more information about preservation at the Library, visit www.loc.gov/preserv/.

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PR 08-110
06/13/08
ISSN 0731-3527

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