Interview with Laura McCann by Glenn Wharton on 12-08-2016

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Laura McCann is the Conservation Librarian in the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department of New York University Libraries.

Interview Abstract

In this interview Laura McCann describes her professional background, her experience working with the Fales Library’s Downtown Collection (p.1-2; 0:30-3:40min) and the staffing and operations of the NYU Conservation Department (p.2; 4:00-4:45min). She discusses the conservation history of Wojnarowicz’s papier mâché “wolf’s head” (p.2-4, p.5-6; 4:47-11:40min, 16:00-17:40min); describes the department’s documentation strategies, the challenges of working with extensive library collections, and making documentation records accessible to researchers (p.4-5; 11:52-16:00min). She describes the complex conservation history of Wojnarowicz’s stencils (p.6-11, p.12; 17:40-36:45min, 39:20-39:50min) and other materials encountered in the Wojnarowicz Papers, including photographs and journals (p.11-14; 37:05-45:49min). She discusses the conservation history of the “coffin piece”, and the ethical issues surrounding human remains in archival collections (p.14-19; 45:55-1:05:56min). Towards the end of the interview she explores the insights into Wojnarowicz’s craft and talents gained from the conservator’s unique perspective (p.19-21; 1:06:05-1:12:07min).

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