The Conservation department was originally located in Technical Services. The Conservation Facility on the fourth floor of Clapp Library opened in September 1999.
The Friends of the Library Steering Committee supported the vision of a Conservation facility, and between 1989 and 1999, a portion of membership dues was set aside to help fund the facility. In November 1997, the Friends voted to contribute $250,000 toward the construction of the new facility.
Three leaders instrumental to the creation of the new facility attended the Friends' Library Open House in November 1999. Eleanor Gustafson (center), College Librarian Emerita, spearheaded the effort to conserve Wellesley's library collections in the 1980s. She devoted forty-one years to caring for Wellesley's book collection — first as a cataloguer in 1948, then as senior cataloger, Head of Technical Services, and finally as College Librarian from 1980 to 1989. Micheline Jedrey (left), Vice President for Information Services and College Librarian from 1989 to 2009, vigorously sustained and advanced the college's commitment to book preservation. June Milton Stobaugh '66 (right) was co-chair of the Steering Committee with Ruth R. Rogers, Special Collections Librarian, when members voted in November 1997 to contribute funds for construction of the CF.
When the subject is book preservation, the discussion inevitably focuses on the achievements of author and social historian Barbara Lubin Goldsmith '53, who led the crusade to abolish the use of acidic paper in book publishing in the United States. Because of her tireless promotion of alkaline papers and her enlistment of thousands of like-minded reformers, many trade and university press hardcover books in the U.S. as well as important federal government documents are now printed on acid-free paper. Her contributions to book preservation have been honored by the Publishers Literary Award and the National Archives Award. A Life Member of the Friends of the Library, Barbara has also given generously to the preservation of Wellesley's library collections. Her endowed fund, established in the early 1990s, was the first designated solely for preservation purposes.