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February 28, 2013

Elmer Eusman Named Chief of the Conservation Division

Elmer Eusman, who has worked for the past 12 years in the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, has been named chief of the Library’s Conservation Division.

Eusman has nearly 28 years of training and experience in the conservation and preservation fields. At the Library, he developed a strong background in project and program management.

The Library’s Director for Preservation, Mark Sweeney, said "Elmer Eusman brings to this position expert conservation skills and training, solid knowledge of the collections and proven management experience. During the last 12 years, he has guided several major preservation initiatives, including a paper-strengthening project, anoxic encasement of the 1507 Waldseemüller World Map and ongoing iron-gall ink corrosion research. I’m confident he will prove to be an outstanding steward of the conservation program for years to come."

Eusman’s promotion took effect Feb. 25. He will oversee the Conservation Division, which ensures the continuing existence of the Library’s collections, assesses and mitigates risks to Library holdings, monitors Library environments, handles emergencies, develops care and management policies and training, prepares materials for exhibitions and digitization, and annually treats and houses more than a half-million endangered photographs, prints, rare books and special media items.

From 2004 to 2013, Eusman was special assistant to the director for preservation, responsible for coordinating fiscal, human resource and other administrative activities. During this time, he served as acting chief of the Preservation Reformatting Division in 2011. He directed the work related to the annual reformatting of more than 3 million pages of the Library’s collections.

Prior to 2004, Eusman was a preservation specialist in the Library’s Conservation Division, responsible for the conservation treatment of items from three major collections in the Prints and Photographs Division—the Eames, Art Wood and Swann collections. He led teams that planned and coordinated the paper-strengthening program and the iron-gall ink corrosion research project. The paper-strengthening program resulted in the treatment of 40,000 brittle newspaper pages of significant Hearst publications which can now be accessed safely in their original format.

A native of the Netherlands, Eusman worked in the Rotterdam Boymans Museum from 1997 to 2000. As senior conservator, he was responsible for the day-to-day business in the paper conservation laboratory. He coordinated with multiple Dutch cultural institutions to coordinate the creation of an authoritative ink corrosion website and collaborated with Amsterdam Shell Research Laboratory scientists to examine the migration of iron ions in paper during conservation treatment.

Before his work at the Boymans Museum, Eusman worked at the Baltimore Museum as an assistant conservator (1994-1997), was the Mellon Fellow in the Paper Conservation Department at the National Gallery of Art (1990-1993) and completed internships at the British Museum in London, the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum and the Corrigon & Greca private studio in Paris.

He has presented and published on various research projects including ink corrosion treatment, paper degradation at the wet-dry interface, working methods of the 18th-century Dutch printmaker Ploos van Amstel, project-management tools and techniques, and a number of conservation projects and case studies.

In 1989, Eusman received his diploma from the Dutch National Conservation Program (Opleiding Restautoren, now incorporated into the University of Amsterdam), leading to the independent practice of art conservation. He received his certification as a project management professional from the Project Management Institute in 2005.

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PR 13-038
02/28/13
ISSN 0731-3527

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