Nora Bloch

  • Collections Care Librarian and Conservator

  • Instructor
  • Collections, Discovery and Budget, Collection Analysis and Investment

Nora Bloch, Collections Care Librarian & Conservator for VCU Libraries, holds her B.A. in Classical Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz, her M.L.I.S. from the University of California Los Angeles, and her M.A. in Conservation Studies, specializing in books and paper, from West Dean College of Arts, Design, Craft and Conservation in England. Most recently, Nora graduated from the VCU Leadership Development Program, in the VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute. Prior to her arrival at VCU Libraries in 2019, Nora completed additional conservation training at the University of Virginia Libraries as a Kress Conservation Fellow, at Yale University Library as their first Conservation Intern, as well as from her experience at the University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute Museum. She has over ten years of professional experience working in academic libraries in Preservation, Collections Care, or Conservation and 20 years working, interning and studying in the cultural heritage sector.

In her current position at VCU, Nora Bloch is responsible for the Libraries’ Collections Care program, which looks after circulating as well as Special Collections and University Archives held in Cabell Library, Health Sciences Library, and in the 500 Academic Center Storage Facility. In addition to these responsibilities, Nora teaches student workers and staff through apprentice-style book repair training opportunities that are accessible, while still preparing students for the rigor and scientific process required for progressing in their conservation studies. Bloch provides teachinging sessions, outreach, and consultations within the library as well as for community members and students on a variety of topics related to Collections Care and book repair. Prior to working at VCU, Nora also taught Letterpress Printing courses to undergraduate and graduate students for the UCLA Design Media Arts and Graduate School of Information Studies Departments. Her publications, so far, focused on stain reduction on leather using rigid gels, as well as the physical condition of scarce or marginalized materials in UCLA’s Folklore collection. Some of Nora’s research interests include the care of scarce or marginalized collections, collective memory and shared collections, as well as ethics of authority, identity and value structures for access to cultural materials, and equitable pedagogy for pre-program conservation studies.

Nora’s current service includes: VCU Libraries’ (VCUL) Emergency Preparedness Committee, VCULs’ Anti-Racism Work Group, where she serves as their nominated liaison to the Libraries’ Management Council, VCU’s University Grievance Panel, VCU’s Hazard Mitigation Plan Work Group, and UCLA's Library and Information Science Mentorship Program. Previously, some of Nora’s service includes work on the VCULs’ Phased Reopening Work Group/COVID-19 Operations Work Group, VCUL’s Faculty Promotion Task Force, the Richmond Covid-19 Oral History Project - Collecting and preserving stories through Covid-19 and social movements in Richmond, the Digital Preservation Strategy Interest Group for APTrust, and the Program, Planning and Publications Committee (PPP), part of the Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) for the American Library Association.

M.A. in Conservation Studies, West Dean College-England
M.S. in Library and Information Studies, University of California-Los Angeles
B.A. in Classical Studies, University of California-Santa Cruz