UVA Special Collections conservator Sue Donovan has been in the spotlight recently as the conservator of the paper contents in the cornerstone box recovered from beneath the now-removed Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, VA. In an interview appearing in UVA Today, Donovan answers questions about her role in preserving the box’s contents.
Donovan had worked previously in recovering contents from the damaged time capsule taken from the “At Ready” — aka “Johnny Reb” — statue when it was removed from the grounds of the Albemarle County Courthouse in September 2020. She was called to Richmond because the state archaeological conservator “wanted someone who works with paper to be on hand to direct the salvage.”
According to Donovan, “it’s important to see [the preservation of aspects of our history that are harmful] as a continuation of the momentum that brought down the Lee monument …”
Read more about Donovan’s preservation work in the UVA Today article “Q&A: Conservator Describes Salvaging Historic Remnants Found Under Lee Statue.”