Chantry Library Subject Bibliographies – No. 3: Woven Fabrics in Book Conservation by Celia Bockmuehl and Nikki Tomkins

Our third, new subject bibliography has just been posted on the use of woven fabrics in the conservation of books.


The bibliography has been produced by two of the Oxford Conservation Consortium’s own conservators, Celia Bockmuehl and Nikki Tomkins (pictured above). It emerged from a collaborative research project undertaken by OCC with Bodleian Conservation and Collection Care and material scientists at Cranfield University. The project was prompted by the main supplier of fabrics for conservation ceasing production in 2007. Its purpose was to test the material properties of the fabrics used for book conservation.

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The research investigated the strength and durability of aerolinen and aerocotton, comparing different suppliers, warp weft and bias orientation of the fabric, and the effect of laundering on the fabric. Tests conducted measured mass per unit area, thickness, sett, tensile strength, folding endurance, and dimensional change.

2019_OCC_Woven fabric action shots (2)
Samples under the microscope

The project’s findings were presented at the Icon Conference 2019, the International IADA Conference 2019 in Warsaw, and more locally for Oxford Conservators’ Group. More details can be found in the full project write up, which will appear in a forthcoming number of Studies in conservation, and has already been published online at this DOI: 10.1080/00393630.2019.1672442

You can find Celia and Nikki’s bibliography by following this link.

New Year, new books! What’s been eating your collection over Christmas?

Welcome to 2020 – and still in a (slightly) festive mindframe our first blog of the year will celebrate a further donation of books from a great supporter of the Library, David Pinniger.

A major contributer to the field of Integrated Pest Management, the Library already has a number of David Pinniger’s books, as well as a his very substantial collection of offprints on the subject. Most of these are listed on his bibliographic Database of IPM references. So if you are interested in any of the titles listed there and cannot find them please ask!

The database can be found on the What’s eating your collection website. The site also has a tool to help identity the insects found in the blunder traps readers hopefully have dotted around their library, archive, or museum.

David Pinniger’s latest donation includes a volume by him:

It also includes preprints from the 23rd International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property from Tokyo 1999 about IPM in Asia “Meeting the Montreal protocol”, as well as a report from 2002 on the international course on conserving Japanese paper.

Another new titles is:

There are also titles in French on safeguarding heritage collections and biological deterioration and in German on museum storage.

So thank you again to David Pinniger for a varied and interesting donation of books.

A selection from our new book display!

18 years of Chantry Library at Grove Cottage!

The Chantry Library moved to Grove Cottage from the Ashmolean Museum on November 2nd 2001. Judith Chantry had looked after the library for many years when it was housed within Ashmole’s Paper Conservation Studio (after a move from the India Office), and the Chantry family made a major gift to the library after Judith’s death in 1999.


OCC is pleased to support the Library, to celebrate its long association with Oxford conservators, students, and readers, and to remember Judith Chantry’s contribution to the conservation profession!

Glass and ceramics conference proceedings: new to Chantry

Many thanks to Dana Norris and Kenneth Watt, donating on behalf of the ICON Ceramics & Glass Working Group, for a copy  of the September conference held in London Recent advance in class and ceramics conservation 2019. The conference was the Interim Meeting of the ICON-CC Glass & Ceramics Working Group and the ICON Ceramics and Glass Group Conference.

Our copy, at the time of writing unique in Oxford, is now on SOLO:

“Sacred scripts” Activity Day & book donation

The Library has received by donation the newly published Treasures of Ethiopia and Eritrea in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This follows on from a very successful event in Blackwell Hall, the ‘Sacred Scripts of Ethiopia and Eritrea Activity Day’, at which three OCC conservators spent several happy hours as volunteers helping Sacred Scripts attendees to bind a notebook using techniques seen in Ethiopian and Eritrean manuscripts from the Bodleian’s collections.

For more info on the activity day, please see the event webpage.

Sacred scipts activity
Lisa Handke, Jane Eagan, Nikki Tomkins volunteering at the Sacred Scripts Activity Day

‘The Best Collection for Book and Paper Conservation’



The Chantry recently hosted an extended research visit from Surjit Singh, a second-year MA student from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi. In his two-month study visit to the UK, Surjit has been immersed in conservation, history of the book, and Sikh manuscripts in particular. At Chantry he has been reading extensively on paper making and intends to prepare a seminar as part of his MA course comparing South Asian and Western papermaking.


The titles he consulted included old classics by Dard Hunter as well as more recently acquired books such as Timothy Barrett’s “European Hand Papermaking” and Sylvia Albro’s “Fabriano”, both of which were acquired through donations received at the 2018 ICON Book and Paper Conference in Oxford.


Librarians do like piles of books as a sign of activity! It was great to host Surjit and provide some interesting reading matter for him. If you are interested in South Asian paper you might want to look at the subject bibliography by Oxford Conservation Consortium’s own Jasdip Singh Dhillon.


Another donation! Buildings conservation material

We are very pleased about *another* donation of material, this time of material relating to the conservation of the historic built environment.  It’s great to be able to extend our coverage in areas beyond our traditional strengths in book and paper conservation. The donation supplements our current holdings, filling out some partial series that were already present in the library, especially the “Short guides” and “Technical advice notes” produced by Historic Scotland. There are also some bilingual Welsh texts that should be interest to process. As a librarian it is always good to have fresh things to accession into the collection, and the Chantry Library is very grateful to donors who kindly enabled us to extend what we hold. Thank you! New books will be added onto SOLO (some are on already) but for now here is a quick handlist:

  1. Cadw. Renewable energy and your historic building [bilingual English and Welsh]
  2. Historic Environment Group, Climate change and the historic environment of Wales: A summary of potential impacts. [bilingual English and Welsh]
  3. Cadw. Conservation Principles: for the sustainable management of the historic environment in Wales. [bilingual English and Welsh]
  4. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 13: Applied Digital Documentation in the Historic Environment.
  5. Historic Environment Scotland. Sash & Case Windows. A short guide for home owners.
  6. IHBC. CONTEXT, No 137 November 2014.
  7. ASCHB Transactions 39, 2017.
  8. ASCHB Transactions 38, 2015.
  9. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 1: Fabric Improvements for Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings.
  10. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 3: The Repair and Maintenance of War
  11. Historic Environment Scotland. Technical Advice Note 9: Stonecleaning of Granite Buildings.
  12. Historic Environment Scotland. Technical Advice Note 10: Biological Growths on Sandstone Buildings.
  13. Historic Environment Scotland. Technical Advice Note 12: Quarries of Scotland.
  14. Historic Environment Scotland. Technical Advice Note 23: Non-destructive investigation of standing structures.
  15. Historic Environment Scotland. Technical Advice Note 25: Maintenance and Repair of Cleaned Stone Buildings.
  16. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 10: Thermal Imaging in the Historic
  17. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 4: Maintenance and Repair Techniques for Traditional Cast Iron.
  18. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 7: Scottish Traditional Brickwork.
  19. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 6: Lime Mortars in Traditional Buildings.
  20. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 8: Micro-renewables in the Historic
  21. Historic Environment Scotland. Short Guide 9: Maintaining your Home.