James Davis • Charleston, SC •


West Dean College: West Sussex, UK; 2016
• MA in Conservation of Books and Library Materials (currently enrolled)

College of Charleston: South Carolina; 2007-2011
• BA in Art History

Trident Technical College: Charleston, SC; Fall 2011-Spring 2012
• General and Organic Chemistry

Florence University of the Arts: Florence, Italy; Fall 2009
• Study abroad


Conservation Assistant, Charleston Library Society: April 2013-Present (Full Time)
• Responsible for the repair of damaged circulating books and the conservation and stabilization of Special Collections materials.
• Create custom enclosures for the library’s particularly valuable works.
• Complete individualized conservation reports for every project detailing condition, materials, and repairs.
• Receive one on one instruction from the Conservation Director on various repair techniques including rebacking, Japanese tissue repair, text block sewing, leather covering and pairing, and gold tooling.
• Work closely with the librarian and curation staff to develop procedures concerning collection maintenance, policy making, and workflow prioritization, and disaster preparation procedures.
• Create new leather and cloth bindings to familiarize myself with every aspect of book structure.

Conservation Trainee, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA): February-May 2013 Jerusalem, Israel
• A three month program focusing on the practical application of conservation projects and documentation.
• Provided instruction on all aspects of conservation including hands on working methods in UNESCO world heritage sites, a paper conservation practicum utilizing the Dead Sea Scrolls paper conservation laboratory, and the completion of a full documentation profile including a conservation plan.
• Completion of the program led to paid work within the IAA’s archive collection to digitize their archaeological archives. My major contribution was to prepare the collection for scanning by removing metal components, dry cleaning, flat ironing, repairing tears, and filling holes within the paper documents.

Research and Conservation Intern, Historic Charleston Foundation: 2009-2010 (Part time)
• Responsible for the cleaning, cataloging, storing, and photographic documentation of a collection of historic textiles housed in the colonial era Aiken-Rhett House museum.
• Cataloged collections and updated museum archives.
• Collected a wide range of research materials and took action in tracking down relevant sources.
• Presented my research to the museum board of directors, informing them of the current projects being completed by the foundation.

Archeological Dig Volunteer, Saint Paul’s Archeological Project: 2011 Charleston Area
• Worked under the head archeologist to dig, sift, and document artifacts from American colonial sites.
• Gained familiarity and understanding of dig practices, identifying, and cleaning historic artifacts.


Case Bound Journal Books: April 2016; Charleston, SC
• Assisted teaching students to bind and cover a case bound journal plus leather pairing and gold tooling.

Long Stitch Binding on Wooden Boards with Jim Croft: April 2015; Charleston, SC
• A three day workshop which included splitting of wooden boards for book covers, instruction on the long stitch sewing method, and hand shaping a personal bone folder.

Paper Marbling: July 2015; Greensboro, NC
• A small group class with local artist Susanne Martin on creating marbled papers. Ten sheets of decorative paper for use on future bookbinding projects were created.

Etherington Conservation Company: June 2013; Greensboro, NC
• An intensive three day shadowing opportunity which provided one-on-one instruction within the paper laboratory and focused on Japanese tissue mending, washing, and documentation of works on paper
• The processes and techniques learned were then implemented into the work done at the Charleston Library Society, including the first ever document washing station and drying rack.

Basic Bookbinding: January 2013 Charleston, SC Redux Contemporary Art Center
• An introductory book arts class held at a local artist establishment. This is where I made my first book!


Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts: Completed: February 2015
• A two part online class offered by Stanford University that introduces students to the making of Medieval manuscripts. More information can be found here.

Science in Art: The Chemistry of Art Materials and Conservation: October 2015-Present
• A course intended to help students understand, from a chemical point of view, how conservation protocols and the material aspects of an artwork allow a better appreciation of the work and its creation. More information can be found here.

The History of the Book in 17th and 18th Century Europe: September 2015-Present
• This course focuses on the physical qualities of books, the role of books in 17th and 18th century France, and the emergence of literature as a modern form of culture. More information can be found here.


Guild of Bookworkers: May 2014-Present; Attended 2014 and 2015 conferences

American Institute for Conservation: May 2014-Present

Charleston Book Union: May 2014-Present


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