As a caretaker of books and ephemera, my goal is to ensure not only their integrity and longevity as treasured objects but their ongoing safe use as containers of information---whether that information is literary, artistic, historical, scientific, photographic, or sentimental.
When you entrust your books into my care, I will repair or protect them according to conservation principles and ethics, using techniques and materials that are sympathetic to the original materials and methods; that are reversible; that will not (to current knowledge) cause harm to your book or document; and that will harmonize with its original appearance.
I’ve bench-trained as a binder since 2001 and augmented that training with private study and classes at the Center for Book Arts in New York City, the School for Formal Bookbinding, the American Academy of Bookbinding, Rare Book School, and others. I’ve held contracts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Sherman Fairchild Center for Book Conservation, Thomas J. Watson Library, where I worked on the library's general and special collections and on the museum's departmental collections, and at the Columbia University Libraries, where I treated books and flat paper objects in their special collections. For ten years I held an elected position on the executive board of the Guild of Book Workers and served as volunteer editor of the Guild of Book Workers Journal.
More at www.linkedin.com/in/caraschlesinger/.
Special feature "The Caretaker: In the Studio with Cara Schlesinger," accompanying the documentary The Booksellers. View it online here (to benefit RBMS) or here (to benefit ABAA), or order the DVD.