Collage of book conservation including tools and binding

Established in 1985, the Conservation Lab is equipped to preserve and protect the rare, unique, and circulating collections of Cornell University Library. Conservation Lab staff have deep expertise in the preservation of physical formats including bound materials, paper-based collections, photographic collections, and artifacts, with a focus on maintaining historical, evidentiary, aesthetic, and/or research value. Conservators and technicians use extensively tested specialized materials, and employ nationally recognized best practices, techniques, and methods. Lab staff actively participate in on-going education to meet the current and developing needs of the collections.

The Conservation Lab supports the mission of Cornell University Library to preserve and disseminate information by ensuring the longevity of, continued access to, and discovery of the Library’s diverse physical collections, through a comprehensive and strategic program of specialized expertise, proactive stewardship, and collaboration. The Conservation Lab works closely with digitization and AV preservation staff, curators, archivists, and technical services staff to support the lifecycle of collections at Cornell University Library. The Conservation Lab prioritizes working on rare and special collections used for research, instruction, exhibition/loan, digitization, grant or other special projects, new acquisitions, and collections processing.

Services: The Conservation Lab provides expert conservation stabilization and treatment, consultation, custom housing, exhibition preparation, digitization support, disaster response and recovery, education and outreach, handling and care training, and preventive conservation. The Conservation Lab serves as a local, regional, national, and international resource on a variety of conservation and preservation related topics and frequently responds to inquiries from faculty, staff, and students from the Cornell community, peer institutions, and the general public. Please contact Michele Hamill ( with questions.

Michele Hamill, Head Conservator; Paper and Photograph Conservator,
Pat Fox, Assistant Book Conservator,
Adam Bryant, Senior Conservation Associate,