Seamus Heaney’s Desk

Kirsten Wehner holding Seamus Heaney’s desks’s protective enclosure.

The Preservation Office regularly works with the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library, home to many books, works on paper, and even historic artifacts. An interesting historic artifact that recently came to the conservation lab for rehousing was poet Seamus Heaney’s writing desk which consists of two long wooden planks. Because of the length and weight of the boards, the conservation staff contracted the construction of a box to an outside supplier. When we went to pick up the box from our mail room we were surprised by how large the box actually was.

In addition to rehousing the desk, we worked with our colleague Renee Stein, conservator at the Carlos Museum, to sample the lumber and send it off for wood identification for documentation required for international exhibition loans.