Resources for Students prepared by the Icon Book & Paper Group

A collection of resources for prospective and current students, emerging professionals and the wider profession

24 Feb 2021

The Book & Paper Group aims to keep this document as up-to-date as possible, and welcomes any suggestions and additions to the list of resources. If you want to suggest a source to be added or amended, please email us with the subject line ‘Resource Document’

Conservation courses

These are the current paper and/or book conservation courses being taught in the UK

West Dean College

University of Lincoln

University of Northumbria

City & Guilds of London Art School

Short book/photo/paper courses

Society of Bookbinders – their events, held across the UK, provide workshop opportunities.

Location: UK

-     Additionally, the Society of Bookbinders provides a list of bookbinding courses across the UK

Language(s): English

Montefiascone Summer study program - The classes provide an opportunity for librarians, conservators, cataloguers, bibliographers and those interested in the history and conservation of books, to assemble once a year to study one or more of the four, week-long courses

Location: Italy Language(s): English

San Gemini Preservation Field School - Summer study programs in different conservation fields, from ceramics to book and paper materials.

Location: Italy Language(s): English

Recanati e Restauro - Summer course ‘Introduction to Book Conservation and Historical Bookbinding’ as well as other book and paper related courses throughout the year.

Location: Italy Language(s): English

The Centre for Photographic Conservation - run by Ian and Angela Moor, offers in-depth training in the conservation and preservation of photographic materials

Location: London, UK Language(s): English

Icon courses and events – this page on Icon’s website offers events held by Icon but also advertises for other courses, lectures and events.

Location: Virtual and UK Language(s): English

The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties plans free courses in Europe, on themes related to Japanese materials and heritage, usually held during the summer.

Location: Europe, with other courses throughout the year in Japan Language(s): English

Conservation Organisations

Many of these organisations will have a wide range of resources available on their webpages, and becoming a member will give you benefits, such as subscribing to newsletters and publication journals, and discounted events, lectures and conferences. Many offer concessionary membership rates for students and early career conservators.

In addition to the Book and Paper Group, make sure to check the Emerging Professionals Network – the hold events and provide resources aimed at emerging professionals and students in the conservation community

ICOM International Council of Museums

IIC International Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

IADA International Association of Book and Paper Conservators

AIC American Institute for Conservation

CCI Canadian Conservation Institute

ARA The Archives and Records Association for the UK and Ireland

NEDCC Northeast Document Conservation Centre

IRCI Institute of Conservators-Restorers in Ireland

ALCTS Association for Library Collections and Technical Services

CCAHA Conservation Centre for Arts and Historic Artifacts

AICMM Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material

Codes of Ethics and Professional Standards

Most of the above organisations will have their own Codes of Ethics by which members have to abide. Icon, AIC and ECCO all have a Code of Conduct; these are well known in the conservation community.

In 2020, Icon published revised Professional Standards and a new Ethical Guidance.

As a conservator – and particularly if you are a member of Icon – you should be familiar with these documents, their contents and how they should all be read and used in conjunction with each other.


Museum of London has e-learning tools aimed at collection care professionals, ranging from pest identification to emergency planning.

AIC has collection care resources and recorded online courses on collection management, conservation assessments, etc.

AIC’s free photographic chemistry for preservation course goes into detail about the creation of a photographic image.

Other accessible online material

The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC’s) gobal conservation forum (also known as condistlist) is an international online forum. Subscribers can also opt to get the daily email, which will include updates on the forums, job opportunities, courses and questions asked by conservators worldwide.

US National Archives disaster response and recovery resources

AIC disaster response and recovery guides

AIC salvage at a glance

NEDCC preservation 101 online textbook

AIC Conservation Wiki

Getty Conservation Institute – Materials, publications and other resources are made available online.

ALCTS YouTube channel

Rare Book School YouTube channel

AIC/FAIC Youtube Channel recorded online lectures, webinars.

UCLA History of the Book – a website created by UCLA on the history of the book, each chapter available to download as PDF, lots of resources.

Image Permanence Institute - webinars, available on their site for free

CCAHA has their previous lectures available on their youtube channel, and their upcoming ones can be seen here.

BCIN, the Bibliographic Database of the Conservation Information Network, is the web's most complete bibliographic resource for the conservation, preservation and restoration of cultural property.


The grants and opportunities page on Icon’s website provides information on some grants and funding opportunities to support continuing professional development. Make sure to check the ‘other grants’ link!

The Stationers’ Company Postgraduate Bursary Scheme – paper conservation students have been awarded the scholarship in the past.

The Stationers’ Company Scholarships and Awards – the financial assistance and major awards are open to conservation students.

The Emerging Professionals Network has a very thorough and informative document on funding opportunities.

Health and Safety in conservation

Health and Safety Executive

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

Safety Data Sheet (SDS) database (safety datasheet search website, formerly material safety data sheets)

British Standards Institute

There are a number of standards that have been published by the BSI that are relevant to the conservation of cultural heritage in the UK. Icon members can get a discount to purchase BSI standards.

Icon publishes a list of relevant standards.

As a student, you should not have to buy any of the standards – they are usually purchased by the professional institutions that work in the cultural heritage environment and employ cultural heritage professionals. However, being familiar with the most important ones is recommended:

PD5454: 2012 – Guide for the Storage and Exhibition of Archival Materials

(superseded by BS EN 16893: 2018 and BS4971:2017 but still relevant and in use)

BS EN 16893: 2018 – Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Specifications for location, construction and modification of buildings or rooms intended for the storage or use of heritage collections

BS4971:2017 - Conservation and Care of Archive and Library Collections PAS 197: 2009 – Code of Practice for Cultural Collections Management You can find a brief overview of their contents on the BSI Shop.


There are many publications on paper, papermaking, paper conservation, bookbinding, etc. but this list includes a few of the ones you should be familiar with and that you will use as a students

Paper and Water: A guide for Conservators by Gerhard Banik and Irene Brückle

How to Identify Prints: A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Inkjet by Bamber Gascoigne

Conservation Mounting for Prints and Drawings: A Manual Based on Current Practice at the British Museum by Joanna Kosek

Contemporary Theory of Conservation by Salvador Muñoz Viñas

Conservation Skills by Chris Caple

The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping by National trust

Conservation Treatment Methodology by Barbara Applebaum

Book Conservation and Digitisation by Alberto Campagnolo

Science for Conservators series (3 volumes) by The Conservation Unit

Materials for Conservation by C. V.Horie

Practical Guide to Book Repair and Conservation by Arthur W Johnson

The Thames and Hudson Manual of Bookbinding by Arthur W Johnson

Papermaking: the history and technique of an ancient craft by D. Hunter

The care of Prints and Drawings by M. Ellis

Preservation and conservation for libraries and archives by N. Balloffett and J. Hille


As a student, you should be able to access these through JSTOR, your institution’s library page or your institution’s library might have physical copies available.

For journals by conservation organisations such as Icon and IIC, you can access the journals for free if you are a member.

Journal of The Institute of Conservation (formerly The Conservator and The Paper Conservator)

Studies in Conservation – IIC Journal

Journal of Paper Conservation – IADA Journal

Restaurator - International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material

Journal of Cultural Heritage

Additionally, conference papers are usually published after a conference has been held; many of these can be found online for past conservation conferences from different institutions and organisations.


Many institutions, organisations and conservation studios in the UK and beyond have online blogs in which they post about projects, new techniques and interesting developments in the profession. It is worth checking them out!

British Library Collection Care Blog

The Book and Paper Gathering

Rita Udina Book and Paper Conservation

British Museum Blog – Conservation Posts

The National Archives Blog – conservation posts can usually be found under the ‘Behind the Scenes’ category.

PZ Conservation – A blog about preserving books and documents for the future

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