Past events

Summaries and abstracts of past Group events

Conservation for Digitisation - a Collaborative Internship by Emma Skinner

Originally Presented: Oct 14, 2020

The Emerging Professionals Network is pleased to bring you the Conservation for Digitisation Webinar. The event will be led by Emma Skinner showcasing a personal reflection on the emerging discipline of Conservation for Digitisation based on her internship experience at The British Library, The National Archives and Bodleian Libraries over the last two years. Emma will explore what the digitisation of cultural heritage is and why it is important, as well as exploring what is Conservation for Digitisation and what skills are needed to be a Digitisation Conservator. She will divide the complex, multi-disciplinary digitisation workflow into its component parts in order to aid understanding. Each stage will look at how the Conservator's role is integral to project delivery, ensuring material is digitised safely and the best image possible can be captured. The talk will conclude with some lessons learnt, hopes for the future and an overview of what are perceived to be some of the key challenges that lie ahead for the heritage sector in terms of access to and the preservation of heritage collections. The conception of the internship will be discussed by Virginia Llado-Buisan, Head of Conservation & Collections Care at the Bodleian Libraries.

The Conservation for Digitisation Internship, generously funded by the Clothworker's Foundation, was a joint venture between three leading UK library and archive institutions who are all leading the way in the digitisation of cultural heritage. It consisted of complimentary, yet distinct experience, over two years and consisted of nine months at The British Library, nine months at The National Archives and six months (extended to nine due to lockdown) at Bodleian Library. The aim was to provide an emerging conservation professional with the necessary skills to support digitisation work, demonstrating the need for and value of experienced conservators in the digitisation field, but also to highlight that a new conservation career pathway has emerged in recent years, as a result of the ‘digital shift’.

Private Practice Series - Business Development and Management

Originally Presented: Wednesday 31st July 2019. 18:00 - 19:30

The Icon Book and Paper Group was delighted to present the first in their webinar Q&A series on private practice. This ongoing webinar/seminar is open to all conservators who have questions regarding business development and management  The goal is to answer general questions pertaining to common business, legal and insurance issues that conservators face in both the private and public sector.  Topics include explaining business and legal terms; discussing common (but vital) business practices; and advising business etiquette between conservators and their wide range of clients.  Each session after the first will be prompted with a topic, and future sessions will have guest speakers in the fields of Art Law, Insurance and Logistics.  Attendees are asked to pose questions a minimum of one week in advance, which will be answered in the subsequent session. 

About the course leader:

Ashleigh is an emerging paper conservator with private and public sector experience on both sides of the Atlantic.  She gained significant business administration experience outside of conservation as a business PA & Art Collection Manager to ultra high net worth individuals and gained further knowledge in insurance and the legal aspects of the art trade in her role as Head of Conservation at John Jones before their closure.  This webinar combines case studies from those experiences with interviews of other professionals in the arts and aims to aid private and public conservators with the basic business skills and knowledge necessary for success.

*Please note: The discussions in this webinar about becoming a limited company vs a sole trader are based on information from independent research and discussions with the business advice from from 2018. Since then, the laws and taxes around being a limited company have changed significantly both due to planned restructuring of the concept of a limited liability company and the current COVID business assistance offerings from the UK government. In certain situations, the tax level may be higher for a limited company than a sole trader, and the limitations on your liability may be lesser than before. The author of this webinar highly recommends that you do additional research, and discuss with a business advisor as to whether or not it is beneficial for you to become a limited company, or if it is better to stay a sole trader. Again the views and advice in this webinar do not reflect the direct opinions of the presenter. The part of the presentation in question that discusses LTD vs being a Sole Trader is under the 'References' slide from 1:02:49 onwards.



AGM Panel Presentation Slides 2019

The Blue Shield and Heritage Protection - Dr Emma Cunliffe, Blue Shield International

Preparing for Extreme Events: A Conservator's Perspective - Fiona Macalister ACR FIIC FMA, Indepenent Preventative Conservator

2018 Icon Book & Paper Group AGM live recording

Saturday 24 March, 2018 at The British Library, Knowledge Centre Theater, London.

Keynote lecture: Anna Bülow, Head of Conservation at the British Museum. From Paper Conservation to Collection Management: Conservation in Complex Organisations. (Timestamp - 2:06:35)

This new format of AGM included six ten-minute lightning talks from emerging conservators on a variety of topics.

You can find more information and a timestamped recording on YouTube.

The Identification of Shagreen on Bookbindings as Leather - Herre de Vries

Evening Lecture

Between 1600 and 1900 a variety of books were covered in a material which is internationally called shagreen or shark leather. It is not, however, tanned or otherwise preserved shark skin, and during treatment it can display both leather- and parchment-like properties. This presentation will discuss the history of this mysterious material by analysing historical sources and exploring the properties ninety such bindings and the characteristics of their microscopical cross sections.

This event was organised and supported by the Book & Paper Group Committee of Icon.

Herre de Vries is co-owner of the Amsterdam-based conservation studio Restauratie Nijhoff Asser. He holds a higher professional degree and an MA in book and paper conservation and started his career in 1999 working as bookbinder with Atelier Kloosterman Boekbinders in Amsterdam. For the larger part of his career he has worked in private practice and in 2012 he worked at the Vatican Library on the conservation of Islamic manuscripts.

Interview with paper conservator, Jane McAusland

The following is an interview with Jane McAusland, leading conservator of works of art on paper, in which she talks about her life and work in conversation with her friend and colleague, Catherine Rickman and Documentary Maker, Olivia Humphreys. You can listen to the full interview (50 min) or a shortened version (12 min).

The production of this recording was supported by a grant from the Clare Hampson Fund. A transcript can be found in the Chantry Library.

Colour, colourants and context - a heritage scientist's perspective by Dr Paola Ricciardi

The Icon Book & Paper Group AGM Lecture took place on 30th March 2017 at the Art Workers Guild.

About the speaker

Dr Paola Ricciardi is a Research Scientist at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. She is responsible for the scientific aspects of the MINIARE research project, which has been studying illuminated manuscripts with a cross-disciplinary approach for the past five years. She worked alongside curator Dr Stella Panayotova on the Fitzwilliam's recent bicentenary exhibition 'COLOUR: the art and science of illuminated manuscripts'. She holds a PhD in Cultural Heritage Science from the University of Florence (2008) and a Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of Rome (2003). Before joining the Fitzwilliam Museum in October 2011, she spent three years at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC as the Samuel H. Kress post-doctoral Fellow in Imaging Science.

Her main research interests include the technical analysis of cultural heritage objects, particularly with non-invasive analytical methods; the study of artists’ materials and techniques; and the transfer of knowledge between artists and craftsmen working in different media.