Main content


Tru Vue Blog: Reflections on AIC's 47th Annual Meeting

David Mohammed, of the National Library of Jamaica’s Conservation department, had the chance to attend AIC’s 47th Annual Meeting in Uncasville CT thanks to an Icon Tru Vue CPD grant. Read on to hear about his key highlights from the meeting.


The hosting of the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. “New Tools Techniques and Tactics in conservation and Collection Care”, held at the Mohegan Sun Hotel in Uncasville CT, May 13- 17 2019, consists of five days of panel discussions, presentations and workshops on different aspects of the conservation field such as textiles, photographic materials, book and paper, collection care, architecture and artefacts, paintings, electronic media and objects. Another aspect of the meeting was the on-site tours of different cultural institutions, such as the Yale University Library, Centre for British Art Paper Conservation Lab, and Gates Conservation Laboratory which open in 2015. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Centre and mystic Seaport Experience with the rebuilding of the Mayflower II ship which was donated to the united states of America after world war two.

It was a very informative and interesting meeting which gave me the opportunity to learn about new treatments and chemicals.


Gellan Gum was first introduced to the field of conservation in 2003 by conservators and scientists in Rome, Italy. The gel has proven to be an extremely useful tool for controlled bathing of works of art on paper. Gellan Gum on parchment provides the conservator with controllable water delivery, the application of gels to parchment conservation is especially appealing in instances such as removing adhesive residues and Hide Glue removal from the spine of books.

An investigation into the reduction of foxing stains in the paper is pervasive in works on paper and is difficult to reduce or remove, especially when full aqueous treatment is not a feasible option. Also, the treatment sink with light bleaching set up in a stainless-steel basin is one such option as well as sun bleaching.

The use of pre-coated heat and solvent Set Tissues has a long history of use which is a preferred method for mending certain types of paper materials due to its transparency, reversibility, and ability to be applied with ease, speed, and consistency.


The Leafcaster machine which is invaluable when working in a production mode such as in filling hundreds of pages of an insect-ridden book.

The Suction table for drying paper after washing. This equipment would be a great tool for the National Library of Jamaica Preservation and Conservation Department to aid in the vast amount of washing we do on a regular basis.

The Yale Conservation Laboratory was of great value as their mission includes Conservation teaching, research, and publication. It is part of the department’s mission to pioneer new conservation methodologies for the preservation of works of art. Applying the highest museum standards, artworks are prepared for exhibition in the matting and framing studio adjacent to the laboratory.


The tour of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library was a great experience. It was fascinating to see a library of its caliber.

The evening receptions and tours was an awesome experience. It gave me a little taste of the history of the Mashantucket tribe and their sister tribe the Mohegans. I got a chance to tour some of the best museum collections at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center as well as seeing some traditional dances by the natives.


The latest round of Tru Vue funding is now open to applicants, please visit the Icon Grants pages for further information. 

Lead image: Creative commons
Images 1 to 3, David Mohammed


The views expressed in these comments are the views of the individual and do not reflect the views of The Institute of Conservation. Any comments containing inappropriate language or copyright material will be removed.

Twitter feed Follow us


View all

2018 ICON Book & Paper Group AGM live recording


The Anna Plowden Trust - a brief introduction


Plowden Scholar Puneeta Sharma 2013: Assistant Drawings Conservator, Royal Collection Trust


Focus on Continuing Professional Development grants: the Scottish Conservation Studio


Plowden Scholar 2002 Tom Küpper: Head of Glazing, Lincoln Cathedral


Water Washing Stone War Memorials