As part of my postgraduate studies at West Dean College in West Sussex, UK, I have had the wonderful opportunity of doing my work placement at the Oxford Conservation Consortium between January and February 2019. The focus of my placement was the cleaning, re-housing and repair techniques on parchment. Apart from the practical work and the numerous external visits to different libraries and archives in Oxford, one of the best aspects of my placement was having access to the Chantry Library.
For a student such as myself, the library provides an inviting and comfortable space where I was able to consolidate my learning in the studio. I was able to learn more about a variety of materials and objects such parchment and seals, as well as read about interesting conservation topics, including preventive conservation and condition surveys. The variety of resources at the library were also very helpful for me to finish course work related to my studies, including research for a science report.
The library is up-to-date with the latest publications and resources, which makes it an exceptional resource for students, conservators and other professionals in the field. Personally, it was a remarkable experience as I was able to carry out my ongoing research and build on the knowledge and experience I was acquiring within the studio. Having a well-resourced library which is close to a conservation studio is a great benefit, and it has motivated me to create more awareness about the importance of making libraries accessible to conservators and students. I highly recommend making a trip or visiting the library; I look forward to visiting the library again already!
We are pleased to announce that Dr Ben Arnold will be joining us as Chantry Librarian on February 7th. Ben will be working 9-1.00 on Thursdays, so please contact him on email@example.com to make an appointment to visit the library.
Chantry Library is keeping up its run of IIC Preprints, and we’ve just received Preventive Conservation: The State of the Art. [Supplement S1 for vol. 63 of Studies in Conservation, IIC 2018 Turin Congress Preprints].
This Congress marks a return to the subject of preventive conservation for IIC, after a 24-year hiatus. In her Foreword, Sarah Staniforth notes that, in that time, preventive conservation has moved to the centre stage of heritage management. This preprint volume ‘captures’ developments in scientific understanding and practice, but also brings to the fore issues that exercise conservators. There are almost 50 papers, some returning to subjects last covered in 1994 at the Ottawa Congress of IIC. Of particular interest for some is the paper ‘Conservation Heating 24 years On’ by Nigel Blades, Katy Lithgow, Sarah Staniforth and Bob Hayes which has been an important source of information in the control of RH in historic buildings.
We are pleased to announce a new resource, the Chantry Library Subject Bibliographies. Through the bibliographies, we hope to support the work of conservators by sharing curated information in the form of an up-to-date list of relevant sources, chosen by a subject specialist. The sources will be accompanied by a descriptive, evaluative annotation to inform readers of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the works cited, making it easier to evaluate the literature on a given subject. Whether you are a conservation student, an early career conservator on the PACR Pathway, or working on CPD, we hope that the Chantry Library Subject Bibliographies will help you explore the topic of your choice.
We are very pleased that our first bibliography is by Jasdip Singh Dhillon, winner of the Book and Paper Group’s annual Frederick Bearman Research Grant, for his research into South Asian paper. To see Jasdip’s Bibliography, visit https://chantrylibrary.org/
This is a well-illustrated and beautifully produced book which covers the full time-span of marbled papers including quite notably the mechanically assisted marbled papers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Wolfe’s work is the culmination of his life-long interest in marbling and can be considered the “standard” work on this subject.
Thanks to the support of Chantry Library users and well-wishers, we have purchased some new books with your kind donations. Over the next few weeks, we’ll give you a few ‘tasters’ of what is now on offer in the library. The first book is Fabriano; City of Medieval and Renaissance Papermaking by Sylvia Rodgers Albro (Washington, DC and New Castle, DE: Library of Congress and Oak Knoll Press, 2016). This extensively researched and richly illustrated book represents an important milestone in the study of European papermaking. Albro draws richly on archival evidence as well as historical paper samples to produce a book which would be of great benefit to curators, librarians, conservators and historians alike.
The Chantry Library recently gifted several conservation publications to the National Gallery of Afghanistan in Kabul. The project ‘Assessing the Condition of the National Art Collection’ is organised by three bodies, the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society in Afghanistan (FCCS), an NGO in Kabul dedicated to the preservation of Afghan culture and heritage and the empowerment of civil society; S&N Consultancy, a Canadian international consulting company; and the Afghan Ministry of Culture and Information. The project is funded by the British Council, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The British Council’s £30m Cultural Protection Fund is set up to protect cultural heritage at risk due to conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.
In 2018, a small team of conservators from the UK travelled to Kabul to assess the condition of the National Gallery’s collection, much of which was damaged due to the many years of conflict in the city. The team also assessed the training and development needs of conservation staff at the gallery. The need for essential publications on Conservation and Museum management became very clear, but access to these is virtually impossible within the country.
The second edition of Banik and Brückle’s book Paper and Water: A Guide for Conservators is now in the Chantry Library! The text and illustrations have been revised to reflect new research, and the bibliography has been expanded with new sources. There is a new chapter by Ute Henniges and Antje Posthast on the characterisation of paper by instrumental analysis, and a discussion of interpreting the data obtained to provide answers to questions conservators ask about the ageing behaviour of paper, prediction of ‘useful lifetime’ under typical storage conditions, and the use of pH to infer the general condition of a paper. Not to be missed!