Newly-catalogued: report on Milka Ternina’s dress and cloak

Being locked down presents the chance to get round to some interesting items on your “to do” list – in the Chantry Library that means cataloguing some of the more obscure titles that have come the Library’s way over the years. This short blog post is about one such volume, originating in Zagreb.


One reason it might have waited to be processed is the language – Croatian! Not one your librarian is familiar with, but with Google Translate an attempt has been made (fingers crossed).

For those interested in the conservation/restoration of clothes and textiles, a subject we the library holds material on, including a donation from donation last year by Nicola Gentle, it is a report about work on the dress and cloak of the Croatian dramatic soprano Milka Ternina (1863-1941). Amply illustrated the volume is worth a look once we are open again to readers, even if you can’t read Croatian!

Still to be classified the book can be found on SOLO here.



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.

Donation of textile conservation material

The Chantry Library was recently very grateful to receive a generous donation from Nicola Gentle. This comprised conference proceedings and other matter, mainly on the conservation of textiles. As well as filling some gaps in our collection of conference proceedings (always fun for librarians to catalogue!) they also add depth to our coverage of this interesting area of conservation work. The titles are being catalogued onto SOLO, so that they can searched for there like the rest of our printed collections (choose ‘Chantry Library’ from the drop-down list), but here is a quick listing of some English titles:

  • Guidelines for Conservation of Textiles, EH 1996
  • In the Nick of Time, Museums and Galleries 1996
  • Adhesive Treatments Revisited, UKIC Textile Group 1998
  • Conservation of Leather Artifacts, Leather Conservation Centre 2000
  • Ecclesiastical Textiles, conservation issues, Council for Care of Churches 2001
  • Dress in Detail, ICON Textile Group 2007
  • Conservation of 3D Textiles, NATCC 2009
  • Joined Up Thinking, Textiles & Historic Interior, ICON Textile Group 2014 (CD)
  • Learning Curve, ICON Textile Group 2015 (CD)

There are also international conference proceedings and journal numbers (many in languages other than English), reflecting even more within the Chantry Library’s holdings the global scope and favour of the conservation profession! So a very sincere thank you to Nicola for the gift.