From Oxford to Afghanistan

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!

Book Sale!

Here at OCC we’re all gearing up for the Book and Paper Group Conference  in Oxford next week. Come say hello to us at the Chantry stall, where you can browse the catalogue and buy some books!


We’ve got lots of duplicate copies for sale at heavily discounted prices. All journals are £2 each, 3 for £5, and books are priced individually (from £5 – £10). Check out some choice titles here, and find many more at the stall on the day.


See you at break time on Monday and Tuesday!





New Book — British Oak Galls

This new-to-Chantry book by Edward Connold, author of British Vegetable Galls, and Gleanings from the Fields of Nature, has just been donated to the Chantry by Sandrine Decoux, Exhibitions Co-ordinator at the Bodleian Libraries. It is illustrated with 68 superb full-page plates, 21 insets, and 17 small drawings… of oak galls!


Today is the last day for our fantastic library volunteer, Cathrin Wieduwild. Cathrin took a break from her studies and has been in Oxford for the past two years. She is now returning to Germany to finish her MA in painting conservation. Cathrin has been involved in making sure the Chantry book collection has bookplates, bar codes, and is properly labelled – she leaves the library in tip top shape! Many thanks, Cathrin, and we hope your studies go well!

Cathrin Wieduwild