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Behind the Scenes at the American Antiquarian Society

  • August 24, 2021
  • 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
  • Zoom
  • 10


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Behind the Scenes at the American Antiquarian Society

Have you ever wondered about the inner workings of a rare book library? What do they collect and why? Where do all the materials live? How do they ensure the survival and preservation of those materials? In this virtual tour, we’ll go behind the scenes at the American Antiquarian Society to learn a little about the institution’s more than 200-hundred-year history, collecting scope, conservation practices, and approaches to virtual and in-person programs. A highlight of the tour will be visiting the 7,000-square-foot addition to the library completed in 2019, which includes the Learning Lab—a multipurpose classroom space—and the Conservation Lab. 

Kayla Hopper is the director of outreach at AAS. She works to reach a wide range of the Society’s constituents by planning and developing programming for the general public and K-12 audiences, running public and group tours, and being part of AAS’s social media team. She has worked previously at Historic New England and the Emily Dickinson Museum. She holds a B.A. in history from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. in history and public history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Babette Gehnrich is the chief conservator at the American Antiquarian Society. She is responsible for the preservation of the Society’s collections and works closely with library staff. She received her training in book/paper conservation and hand bookbinding in Berlin, Germany, and the Centro del bel Libro in Switzerland. Prior to joining the AAS staff in 1989, she held the position of assistant book conservator at Yale University.

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