Cathleen A. Baker Fellowship in Conservation

The University of Michigan Library and the Department of Preservation and Conservation are pleased to announce the Cathleen A. Baker Fellowship in Conservation. The fellowship provides financial support for conservators at various levels in their careers to enable them to spend time in the University of Michigan Library's Conservation Lab to increase their knowledge about the conservation of paper-based collections. Projects that center on the conservation of related non-paper materials, such as papyrus or parchment/vellum, will also be considered. While most fellows will work with U-M Library conservators to increase their own knowledge and skills, a fellow may also join the lab primarily to pass on her/his expertise to the U-M conservators. Building and sharing knowledge are the primary goals of this fellowship. Past and current Baker Conservation fellows are listed below.

Picture of Cathleen A. Baker


The Cathleen A. Baker Fellowship in Conservation was established in April 2011 by a gift from Dr. Baker, Conservation Librarian emerita at the University of Michigan Library and Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation. The fellowship was first offered in 2012; future announcements calling for applications will occur annually in the autumn. Any person who wishes to contribute to this fellowship is welcome to do so. To make a contribution to the Cathleen A. Baker Fellowship in Conservation see Giving to MLibrary.


The fellowship is available to individuals who are either (1) students in good standing who have completed at least the first academic year in a graduate-level conservation program, (2) graduates of graduate-level conservation programs, or (3) mid-career conservators who have at least five years' experience in the field of conservation or a related field. At this time applications can be accepted only from citizens of the United States of America and U.S. resident aliens. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact the fellowship committee.

Location and Duration

Applications for 2020-2021 fellowships may propose projects to be executed between 1 May 2020 and 1 September 2021. The duration of the project should be at least six weeks to a maximum of twelve months. Starting/ending dates may be negotiated and may depend upon, for example, academic schedules or the estimated duration of a specific project as indicated in the application form, as well as upon other Conservation Lab commitments. Likewise, the time in residence at the University of Michigan may be broken into two or more shorter stays, by negotiation with the fellowship administrators. All projects must be based at the University of Michigan Library on the Ann Arbor campus; the fellowship does not fund projects based elsewhere.

Funds Available

The total fellowship funds available during 2020–2021 will be $5,000. Therefore it is important that applicants who seek fellowships longer than six months submit a budget that includes other sources of income to supplement their projects. Stipends will be paid through the University, but no benefits (health insurance, dental, retirement, etc.) are included. One or more fellowships may be awarded during the year, depending on resources available.

Application, Interview, and Notification

Applications are submitted via email. Specific instructions for file formatting and submission are included in the application form. (See How to Apply, below.)

The next application submission deadline for this fellowship is midnight on Friday, 31 January 2020

On-site interviews are required only for projects lasting longer than five months. However any applicant who would like to visit the department is welcome to contact the Fellowship Committee Chair, Shannon Zachary, to make an appointment ( There is no funding available for travel expenses for interviews or visits.

The required narrative on the application must provide a concise description of the proposed project. Describe your goals for the project and include how the project would benefit (1) the U-M Library, especially the Special Collections Library, the rare book/archival holdings in other collections of the Library (e.g. Art, Architecture, and Engineering, Fine Arts, AsiaMusic, Museums, and Papyrology libraries), or the rare maps/atlases in the Stephen S. Clark Library; (2) conservation practice (in the broad sense of examination, condition evaluation, and/or treatments) performed in the Conservation Lab; and (3) the larger field of conservation.

Examples of fellowship projects might be:

  • Investigation into the nature or technology of a particular material, medium, or type of artifact.
  • Investigation into the treatment of a particular material, medium, or type of artifact.
  • Broader focus on a range of treatment techniques, to share with and/or learn from the U-M Library conservators.

Visit our Web sites to explore the collection strengths of the U-M Library and other campus libraries or for information about the Department of Preservation and Conservation.

Applicants will be notified of the Fellowship Committee's decision approximately one month following the application deadline.

How to Apply

Download one version of the application form: .docx or .pdf . In addition to the completed application form, applicants must also submit a curriculum vitae or résumé as a .doc, .docx, .pdf, .odt, .txt. or .rtf document. See the application form for more information.

All application materials must be emailed as attachments to the Fellowship Committee no later than 12:00 a.m. (midnight, applicant's local time) on Friday 31 January 2020.  Email to:


Please address written inquiries to:

Cathleen A. Baker Fellowship in Conservation
Department of Preservation and Conservation
University of Michigan Library
837 Greene Street, Rm. 3202 Buhr Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209

Baker Conservation Fellows

2019 Yan Ling Choi
In residence 23 September 2019 through August 2020
Focus: Third-year intern from the Art Conservation program at Winterthur/University of Delaware.

2019 Samantha Couture
In residence 22 July through 9 August and 30 September through 18 October 2019
Focus: Treatment of photo albums.

2019 Karissa Muratore
In residence 3 June through 26 July 2019
Focus: Summer intern from the Art Conservation program at Winterthur/University of Delaware.

2018 Nicole Alvarado
In residence 25 June through 10 August 2018
Focus: Summer intern from the Art Conservation program at Buffalo State College.

2018 Oa Sjoblom
In residence 25 June through 10 August 2018
Focus: Summer intern from the Art Conservation program at Buffalo State College.

2017 Clara Huisman
In residence 12 June through 18 August 2017
Focus: Summer intern from the Art Conservation program at Buffalo State College. 

2017 Snow Fain
In residence 22 May through 28 July 2017.
Focus: Conservation treatment of books with split text blocks.

2017 Jeff Peachy
In residence for two one-month sessions, January and August 2017.
Focus: Bindings of the first decades of the nineteenth century.

2016 Kesha Talbert
In residence for three two-week sessions between October 2016 and April 2017.
Focus: Humidification and flattening of paper artifacts.

2016 Michelle Cornelison Smith
In residence 5 July through 18 August 2016
Focus: Summer intern from the Art Conservation program at Buffalo State College; artists' books.

2015 Martha Little
In residence two three-week sessions between 25 January and 1 May 2016
Focus: Papyrus conservation; use of cellulose ether adhesives in book and paper conservation.

2014 Halaina Demba
In residence: 6 October 2014 through 11 February 2015
Focus: Library and archive conservation

2013 Erin Kraus
In residence: 12 May 2014 through 15 August 2014
Focus: Summer intern in paper conservation from the Art Conservation program, Queen's University

2013 Bill Minter
In residence: 5 separate weeks between 14 October 2013 and 2 May 2014
Focus: Preparation and use of starch paste in book and paper conservation; tips and techniques of book conservation

2012 Aisha Wahab
In residence 7 September 2012 through 31 August 2013
Focus: Third-year intern in paper conservation from the Art Conservation program at Buffalo State College

2012 Lauren Calcote
In residence 1 September 2012 through 22 August 2013
Focus: Batch treatments of special collection bindings; treatment of vellum bindings; complex book conservation treatments; study and construction of historical binding models; conservation of papyrus.


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Last modified: 10/28/2019