Oxford Conservation Consortium

The Oxford Conservation Consortium (OCC) was established in 1990 by four of the colleges of the University of Oxford to provide collection care services for their rare and historic library and archive collections. The size and range of OCC’s activities have grown over the years and in 2014 it was registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Charity number 1158728). Today there are 16 member colleges and a staff of six conservators. Our specialism is the care of rare book and archive collections and our activities are to repair, preserve, document and make accessible these materials for our members, and to care for their collections within the historic college settings. A number of OCC staff are accredited members of ICON and others also play an active part in the conservation profession.

OCC Members, all colleges of the University of Oxford are:
Balliol, Christ Church, Corpus Christi, Exeter, Jesus, Keble, Lincoln, Magdalen, Merton, Oriel, Queen’s, Middle East Centre Archive (St Antony’s), St John’s, Trinity, University, Worcester.

OCC staff are:
Head Conservator Celia Bockmuehl (ACR ICON), Senior Conservators Maria Kalligerou and Nikki Tomkins (ACR ICON), and Conservators Jasdip Singh Dhillon, Jess Hyslop, and Emma Skinner.

OCC staff regularly produce articles, blog posts, and presentations about their work. Please follow the links below for an insight into some of our recent conservation treatments and research, authored by current and past staff of OCC:

Bookbindings at Keble College – a book conservator’s vade mecum by Jane Eagan, on the Keble College Special Collections website.

Textiles and text: A collaborative approach to conserving textile-covered manuscripts – podcast of a talk by Jane Eagan and textile conservator Maria Hayward, on the University of Oxford podcasts website (April 2022).

First letter home, and the toilet paper map 1957 (Acc 2019/191) by Celia Bockmuehl, on the Magdalen College Libraries and Archive Illuminating Magdalen blog (August 2020).

Woven Fabrics in Book Conservation: An Investigation into the Properties of Aerolinen and Aerocotton by Celia Bockmuehl, Nikki Tomkins, et al, in Studies in Conservation, Vol 65, Issue 7, 2020.

Conserving Magdalen College MS GR 3: the ‘Musterbuch’ and more by Katerina Powell, presented at ICON Book and Paper Group conference ‘Unexpected fame: conservation approaches to the preparatory object’ in October 2018 and published on the ICON website in 2020.

The Clothworkers’ Company project (a project to conserve three printed volumes with botanical specimens and one early manuscript Bible) by Maria Kalligerou, on the Corpus Christi College website.

A catalogue of problems: Conserving the Bodleian booklists by Nikki Tomkins, on the Jesus College Library Blog (December 2020).

‘Blessed is that paper’: The Dhan Su Kagad project in Amritsar by Jasdip Singh Dhillon, a blog post detailing research made possible by ICON’s Fred Bearman Research Grant, on the ICON website (September 2018).

Life in plastic: repairing architectural plans on polyester film by Jess Hyslop, on the ICON website (July 2022).

Conservation for Digitisation – a collaborative internship by Emma Skinner, an online presentation hosted by the Institute of Conservation Emerging Professionals Network on 14th October 2020.

The Conservation of Peter Small’s Pedigree by Emma Skinner, on the St John’s College Library Blog (January 2023).

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