AIC 2011 Angels Project

The 2011 AIC annual meeting Angels Project was at the American Philosophical Society.  I had never been to the society so I was interested to see the space.  The American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities, it was begun by Benjamin Franklin in 1743 and the archives contain a variety of different materials.  The Angels were split into groups of five people and they were each assigned a shelf to begin to dust and record.  The record summarized how  materials are currently being housed and will allow the conservator to make recommendations for a future  re-housing project.

One of the most interesting collection materials was a box of bamboo that had been inscribed with characters.  This is the writing of the Batak, a group of people who live in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia.  The American Philosophical Society will be re-housing these bamboo pieces very soon as they are one of only a few repositories of the Batak language.

This is my second year to volunteer on the Angels project and I really enjoyed it.  It gives me the opportunity to see and help a collection in need, meet other conservators in other disciplines, and after a few days of talking and thinking I got a chance to apply myself to a project which was energizing.

*Image courtesy of Jason Church at