The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Conservator for Special Collections


Thanks to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in 2010 the Columbia University Libraries received an exciting challenge: raise $1,000,000 over a period of three years to endow a new conservator position, and the Foundation would match it with another $1,000,000. Thanks to the generosity of many donors, including the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and Columbia Trustee Gerry Lenfest, the Challenge was met in 2013.

A further grant of $250,000 from the Mellon Foundation allowed the Libraries to hire the new conservator immediately. Jennifer Jarvis, the first Mellon Conservator for Special Collections, took up her appointment on August 3, 2011. Meet the new Mellon Conservator for Special Collections, Jennifer Jarvis.


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Jennifer joins an experienced and expert team of conservation professionals and technicians at Columbia focusing on paper and book treatments to the Libraries’ extensive rare and special collections. This new position has already enhanced Columbia's strong collaborations with other institutions in conservation education and training, and its communications with the science community on book and paper conservation.

"This generous support from the Mellon Foundation affirms the commitment of the Columbia Libraries to the long-term preservation, availability and use of our extraordinary special collections by our own faculty and students, and by scholars from all over the world," stated James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian.