Library news

The Chantry Library has had a closed period for work on the collection. We are very happy to have Library Assistant Margaret Wainwright helping us with reorganising the book collection and sorting new acquisitions and gifts to the library. Maggie can normally be found in the library at Magdalen College,

In picture: Maggie Wainwright (left) and OCC conservator Lisa Handke (right) in the Chantry Library.

New donation

Through our library volunteer, Cathrin Wieduwild, the Conservation Department of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden – Gemäldegalerie Alte und Neue Meister, has donated three books to the Chantry library. Many thanks to the Museum for their generous support and to Cathrin for her summary of the books which follows.

The first, Spanische Malerei – Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Bestandskatalog, is a catalogue from the Old Master Picture Gallery, Dresden, where paintings from all the important artists of the Spanish school are on exhibition. This book was written by Mattias Weniger in collaboration with the Conservation Department of the Old Master Picture Gallery, Dresden, and the paintings are explained from  history of art and art technology points of view as well as the history of the collection in general.

The second, Gerettet – Die Restaurierung der grossen Formate nach der Flut 2002, [English title: Rescued – The Restoration of the Large Paintings after the Flood 2002], describes the amazing commitment of gallery staff and volunteers during the devastating flood of 2002 in Dresden. Whilst the water was rising, they transported over 3000 paintings and frames from the lower floor to the safe upper rooms within a few hours on 13th August. Because of an electrical power outage it was not possible to transport the large paintings to safety using the lift, but it was possible to hang them under the ceiling. 15 large paintings rolled onto cylinders suffered damage. Directly after the water was gone the conservation was started, followed by restoration of the paintings. This book reports on the problems encountered during the restoration and the successes.

The last book, Restaurierte Kunstwerke in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, [English title: Restored Artworks in the German Democratic Republic (GDR)] gives an overview of conservation and restoration in the former East Germany on artworks from the early middle ages to the 1980s, described by institutional and freelance conservators of cultural heritage.

Summer closure, but we’ll try!

DSCN8973While the Chantry Library is closed for the summer, we will do our best to accommodate readers. Andrew Honey, Book Conservator, Research and Teaching, at the Bodleian Libraries, uses the conference paper collection to check an article by Chris Clarkson which appeared in the postprints of Icon’s first (and IPC’s last) international conference, Edinburgh 2006. He was delighted to find the conference handbook as well!


The Chantry Library will be closed from 11 July to 31 October for planning and essential maintenance. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Although there will be no open hours during that time, if your inquiry is urgent, please telephone or email.


Tel.: 01865 271520

New Books!

The Chantry Library has received two books of interest to Japanese and Italian speakers. Yuri Nomura has sent her book ‘Books and Bookbinding’ or Syomotsu to Seihonjyutsu–Reliure/Toji no Bunkashi, just published in Tokyo by Misuzu Shobou. And Marco Curione has donated a copy of I “CODICI” venuti dal Mare, an interesting collection of essays revealing various aspects of the history and materiality of two exceptional codices found by fishermen at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea near the island of Pantelleria, Sicily.

The Chantry Library Blog

Welcome to Chantry’s new librarian, Mastan Ebtehaj who will start Wednesday January 18th 2017.  Until recently, Mastan was the librarian in charge at the Middle East Centre Library at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She brings experience in developing library strategy to provide services for users and in developing and maintaining a specialised collection. Mastan will be working on Wednesdays from 9.30-4.30 during the University of Oxford term, all dates are listed on the Chantry website. We would also like to thank Valérie Beautemps, librarian from mid July, for her work in re-establishing the library and reopening for readers. Best wishes to Valerie on her move back to Brussels!

Please note the Library will be closed from 17 December to 17 January 2017.