Department: Libraries

Areas of expertise:

  • Preservation of Library & Museum Collections
  • Storage, handling, and exhibition of Library & Museum Collections
  • Disaster response and salvage of Library & Museum Collections
  • Book Arts 

Merkel is an associate professor and preservation officer for JMU Libraries. She has taught as an adjunct for the University of North Texas, Virginia Military Institute, and James Madison University with courses ranging from preservation of library materials to visual art and art history.

Merkel is a member of the Special Collections team supporting researchers, class visits, exhibits, and conservation and stabilization of unique and fragile materials. She oversees repair of circulating library collections as well as binding of scores for the Music Library. 

Merkel earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture and art history from the University of Notre Dame, and a master of fine arts degree in painting at James Madison University. She completed a collections care & maintenance training program at the University of Missouri Kansas City, archival certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists, and disaster recovery training from the Foundation of the American Institute for Historic and Artistic Works and the National Conservation Training Center.

Media contact: Eric Gorton,


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