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Bell Book & Conservation is the portfolio site of Adrienne E. Bell. Here you will find information about me, my career, and my projects to date.


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Something like a biography…
An English and French double major in college, I found myself wondering what to do with all the free time I suddenly had after graduation. I promptly moved back in with the parentals and went to work for a small, local academic library. My life found its course the moment I watched my boss repair an encyclopedia page with special tape designed to be pH neutral with a paper carrier to blend into the page. This was my first introduction to the concept of preservation. Two years later, I was studying preservation and performing basic book repair while watching the preservation librarian do her rounds. I decided I liked the books better. My life course bent slightly, and I found myself training and growing as a book conservator. Several years later, I get to play with books that came into being around the same time Europe was rediscovering the American continents.

My inspirations include cotton and linen, as well as goat and calf. I am awed by the work of Sangorsky and Sutcliffe and baffled by some of the binding decisions made by men long dead. I find great delight in weird watermarks and have spent a semester writing a paper about paper. I browse used book stores for interesting bindings and am bored by books in good condition. I cannot stand the sight of tape on a book!

Professional Memberships

  • American Library Association, Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, 2005 – present
  • American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Professional Associate, Book and Paper Group, 2004 – present
  • Guild of Book Workers, Southeast Chapter, 2004 – present

Employment History

  • Preservation Librarian at Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD), January 2012 – present
  • Associate Rare Books Conservator and Field Services Representative at Etherington Conservation Services (Browns Summit, NC), January 2004 – January 2012
  • Preservation Consultant as an independent contractor at Trinity Episcopal Seminary (Ambridge, PA), October – November 2003
  • Conservation Student Assistant at the University of Pittsburgh’s Preservation Department, September 2002 – October 2003
  • Management Information Analyst in the Office of the Provost at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, PA), June 2001 – August 2002


  • Master’s in Library and Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2003
  • Bachelor of Arts in English and French, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Robert E. Cook Honors College, 2000


  • Ohrenschall Book and Paper Conservation Internship, Johns Hopkins University, September – December 2010
  • Conservation Trainee Program, Folger Shakespeare Library, August – November 2011

A more detailed copy of my resume (180 KB) is also available as a PDF to download.

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