Pinniger for Chantry blogpost
David Pinniger, Jane Eagan, and Alex Walker (Preventive Conservator, Bodleian Libraries) in the OCC Studio.

Conservators of all disciplines will be happy to learn that David Pinniger has recently donated his extensive article/offprint collection to the Chantry Library. Most readers will be familiar with  Pinniger and Thompson-Webb’s interactive website ‘What’s Eating Your Collection’ and its extensive database of references on pest management, monitoring and trapping, treatment, strategy, and collections/environment. This reference collection is comprehensive and brings together many obscure publications, some anonymous, and others dating back to the beginnings of IPM. The donation includes a small collection of monographs not held by Chantry which have already been catalogued and are listed below. We hope to obtain funding to catalogue the article collection and in the near future we hope it will be possible to consult this fantastic collection of reference material.

List of Pinniger monographs now in the Chantry Library:

Åkerland, M. et al, eds.,  The 3rd Nordic Symposium on Insect Pest Control in Museums, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, 1998.

Aranyanak, C. and C. Singhasiri, eds., Biodeterioration fo Cultural Property 3, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Biodeterioration of Cultural Property, Bangkok, 1995.

Brokerhof, Agnes W., Control of Fungi and Insects in Objects and Collections of Cultural Value, 1989.

Caneva, Giulia et al, Biology in the Conservation of Works of Art, ICCROM, 1991.

Gallo, Fausta, Il Biodeterioramento di Libri e Documenti, ICCROM, 1992.

Kigawa, R., ed.,  Integrated pest Management in Asia for Meeting the Montreal Protocol, Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, 1999.

Neher, A. and D. Rogers, eds., Pest Attack & Pest Control in Organic Materials, Postprints of UKIC Furniture Section, UKIC, 1996.

Fibres in Focus

Identification of Vegetable Fibres, Dorothy Catling & John Grayson

Identification of Vegetable Fibres, written by Dorothy Catling and John Grayson, is one of many specialist titles on the study of paper fibres. Both authors were forensic scientists and this book shows the value of forensic science research for conservators.

Detailed electron micrographs comparing the ends of important bast fibres.

Catling and Grayson’s book was recently consulted by Jasdip Singh Dhillon who is leading the “Dhan Su Kagad”, a research project that has been awarded the ICON Fred Bearman Research Grant. The project involves carrying out a survey on handmade papers on Sikh manuscripts to quantify changes seen in the physical characteristics of papers over time.

Sunn-hemp field, Crotalaria Juncea
A field of Sunn “hemp” in flower, one of the chief papermaking fibres in India, covered in extensive detail by Catling and Grayson.




Chantry has just received the newly published proceedings of the 16th International Seminar for the Care and Conservation of Manuscripts. Even before this has been catalogued, we already have a reader wanting to look at the article ‘Cumulative light exposure of illuminated manuscripts: Steps towards a new exhibitions policy’ by Turner, Beltran and Schmidt Patterson, at the Getty Conservation Institute.

For a list of the contents of Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 16, please see the programme at

A Talk: Conserving Theban tomb paintings

On Thursday 29th March, we welcomed Bianca Madden and the Oxford Conservator’s Group to OCC and the Chantry Library. Bianca gave a great talk on her work with Theban tomb paintings, exploring the technical challenges and ethical dilemmas of the conservation treatments. Using the Tomb of Sennefer as a case study, the talk was a fascinating insight into wall painting conservation and the strengths and weaknesses of international collaboration.

Bianca Madden at OCC for OCG

Check out more about the project and Bianca’s work at

Thanks also to the Oxford Conservators group for organising the event, you can find out more about the group here: and on twitter at @oxcongroup.

Interested in finding out more about wall painting conservation? Here’s something off the Chantry shelves:

Conserving the Painted Past
Gowing, Robert Conserving the Painted Past (2003: London)

50 shades of brown

We’ve been busy in the OCC studio dyeing batches of fabric for board slotting. Reactive dyes are a great way of doing this, and Edward Simpson’s article is still the seminal text on methodology in a conservation context.  Luckily, the Chantry library has all of the Paper Conservation News dating back to 1976.

2018_OCC cloth dye samples
Simpson, E. ‘Dyeing aerolinen and aerocotton with reactive dyes’ Paper Conservation News 71 pp.7-9 (1994)

A guide to the world of Photoreproductions

Here at OCC we’re working on a number of damaged and deteriorated architectural photoreproductions. Kissel and Vigneau’s text is proving indispensable for identifying the photographic process, and agents of deterioration.  Great that there’s a copy in the Chantry!

Kissel, E., and Vigneau, E. Architectural photoreproductions: a manual for identification and care (1999: Newcastle)