WARNING: I will now go on a tangent about the Cambpell Center.
The Campbell Center is a small but amazing institution located in Mt. Carroll, IL about 3 hours west of Chicago. It is run out of the few buildings that used to be Shimer College (a school that still exists, on the IIT campus). The center offers courses on historic preservation, collections care and conservation. Its a small place, and everyone gets to know everyone. You live there-- sleep in dorms, eat meals together and explore the area together. Its really great.
I had heard about the Campbell Center my senior year of college, when I really started working in conservation. I remember flipping through the catalog, and eyeing the paper conservation classes, hoping that one day I could afford to take them (there are scholarships offered, and many of the classes are reasonably priced, but I was indecisive and about to graduate, so I did not investigate further). It really is amazing that a little over one year later, I am taking the course for free, and helping other people in the class with things like building passive humidification chambers and poulticing with methyl cellulose.
The course was a very solid introduction to paper conservation techniques, ethics and history. The students came from all walks of life, some were librarians and teachers, others were technicians and preparators and everyone was very interested. It was interesting to see other people deal with the methods I had been taught, and exciting to discuss conservation with other people interested in the field.
The truth is, the Campbell Center is a small place, and a non-for-profit, and in a small town in western Illinois. It is also a really special place, where people who love history and art can come together and talk and learn about the best way to care for our history and preserve our past. Also, all the instructors are very respected in their field, so its not in any way backwoods and shady (which in the wild west of conservation/restoration, is something you may stumble upon).
I had a great time and recommend anyone interested in learning more about specific topics in conservation or preservation checking out this great place.