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Events

Behind the scenes tours of the Conservation Studios

First Thursday of the month, 14.00-15.00

See the work of conservation on a 'behind the scenes' tour of the studios in the Centre for Conservation. These tours, led by British Library conservators, give an insight into the techniques used to care for our collections.

Please read Notes for visitors (PDF format) before your visit.

To book see What's on

 

British Library / West Dean College of Arts and Conservation partnership courses 2018

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has collaborated with the British Library to deliver a programme of courses in preservation and collection care for libraries. The programme focuses on Continued Professional Development and is aimed at professionals, conservation students and others interested in furthering their skills in this area

For booking information please see West Dean College of Arts and Conservation short course web pages here

Preserving Historic Photographs 

17 May 2018
With Susie Clark

Cost: £140

Photographic collections are found in libraries, archives and museums all over the world. Their sensitivity to environmental conditions, and the speed with which images can deteriorate present special challenges. This one day training session is led by Susie Clark, accredited photographic conservator. It is aimed at those with responsibility for the care of photographic collections regardless of institutional context. The day provides an introduction to understanding and identifying photographic processes and their vulnerability, information on common conservation problems and solutions, and the preservation measures that can be taken to prolong the life and accessibility of photographic collections. Contact with real examples of different photographic processes is an important feature of this training session which is therefore limited to only 16 places. At the end of the day participants will be able to: identify historic photographic processes explain how damage is caused implement appropriate preservation measures commission conservation work.

 

Understanding bookbindings 

23 May 2018
With Arthur Green and Mariluz Beltran de Guevara

Cost: £140

This training day will help librarians and archivists understand the types of bindings in their collections and will provide guidance on describing and handling bindings and on appropriate conservation techniques. It is aimed at librarians, archivists, volunteers and anyone working with collections of historic bindings who would like to understand more about the books that they handle. There will be a look at the structural features of hand-made bookbindings from the printed era. Leaving aside fancy decoration and the printed word, Arthur Green will examine some common binding styles, concentrating on the specific materials and techniques used in their construction and the various reasons why they might degrade. There will be a tour of the basement which is kept at a cool temperature, so please bring a jumper or a cardigan. Coats and bags are not allowed in the store for security reasons but will be locked away.

 

Environment: Effective monitoring and management

14 June 2018
With Jane Henderson

Cost: £140

Avoiding a 'one size fits all' approach to environmental parameters, this training day helps you to understand the vulnerabilities and tolerances of your collections and then shows how to set realistic and achievable targets that are appropriate to the materials in your care and the resources available to you. At the end of the day you will be in a strong position to take cost-effective decisions and prioritise actions for maintaining a sustainable environment. The training day is aimed at people with responsibility for the care of library and archive collections, and is led by Jane Henderson, Senior Lecturer in Conservation at Cardiff University.

 

Book furniture 

18 September 2018
With Charlotte Howsam and David Pearson

Cost: £130

This course will consider the history of book furniture from the late medieval period to the 19th century, examining various types of book fittings and how they changed in style and use over time, from the functional to the decorative. The production techniques and materials will also be discussed, as well as techniques for the identification of different materials and their deterioration. Charlotte Howsam completed a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in 2016 on late medieval book fittings archaeologically recovered from English monastic sites. She is currently a Post-Excavation Archaeologist for Archaeology South-East (UCL). David Pearson retired in 2017 as Director of Culture, Heritage & Libraries for the City of London Corporation. He is now concentrating on academic work as a book historian, is a Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies at the University of London and the Lyell Reader in Bibliography at Oxford for 2017/18. His books include Oxford Bookbinding 1500-1640 (2000) and English Bookbinding Styles 1450-1800 (2005, new edition 2014). He regularly teaches on the Rare Book Schools in London and Charlottesville. Maickel van Bellegem ACR is the Metals Subject Leader at West Dean College. Maickel is a goldsmith and metals conservator who has worked both independently and in museums, notably the Rijksmuseum, the British Museum and the V&A Museum. He has worked on a range of metal objects for display, loans, storage and research purposes, and has published regularly. Topics of publications included historical manufacturing techniques relating to patination of 'black bronze' alloys in 19th century Burmese lime boxes and their conservation, authentication and developing conservation treatments for corroded silver.

 

Preservation Assessment Survey Workshop

16 October 2018
With Julia Foster

Cost: £143

Preservation Assessment Survey Workshop Designed for library and archive staff (no previous knowledge of preservation is required), the workshop introduces a variety of collection survey methods, explains the benefits of carrying out a survey, provides options for selecting a sample and includes a practical session allowing attendees to plan, measure, and compile survey data. Participants have successfully used the results of collection and condition surveys to support funding bids and to inform internal planning and budgeting for preservation. For further information about the course, please contact the Course Organiser: cpd@westdean.org.uk or +44 (0) 1243 818219. For further information about booking, please telephone the Bookings Office: +44 (0)1243 818300. Website: www.westdean.org.uk The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the second largest library in the world.

 

Preserving Historic Photographs

11 December 2018
With Susie Clark

Cost: £143

Photographic collections are found in libraries, archives and museums all over the world. Their sensitivity to environmental conditions, and the speed with which images can deteriorate present special challenges. This one day training session is led by Susie Clark, accredited photographic conservator. It is aimed at those with responsibility for the care of photographic collections regardless of institutional context. The day provides an introduction to understanding and identifying photographic processes and their vulnerability, information on common conservation problems and solutions, and the preservation measures that can be taken to prolong the life and accessibility of photographic collections. Contact with real examples of different photographic processes is an important feature of this training session which is therefore limited to only 16 places. At the end of the day participants will be able to: identify historic photographic processes explain how damage is caused implement appropriate preservation measures commission conservation work. For further information about the course, please contact the Course Organiser: +44 (0)1243 818219 or cpd@westdean.org.uk The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the second largest library in the world.

 

Doing Digitisation

12 December 2018
With Catt Thompson-Baum, Fiona Clancy, Flavio Marzo, Gayle Whitby, Rossitza Atanassova and Sotirios Alpanis

Cost: £143

Digitisation can increase access to collections, provide surrogates for vulnerable originals, enable virtual reunification of collections or reveal information not available to the naked eye. But how do you know where to start? What type of image should you create, what equipment do you need, how do you prepare items for digitisation? This training day covers the practical aspects of undertaking digitisation. It is focused on the digitisation of library and archive materials, though the principles are transferable to other formats. The day includes guidance on image specification and file formats, condition assessments, choosing equipment and file management. It includes a tour of the British Library imaging studios. For further information about the course, please contact the Course Organiser: cpd@westdean.org.uk or +44 (0) 1243 818219. For further information about booking, please telephone the Bookings Office: +44 (0)1243 818300. Website: www.westdean.org.uk The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the second largest library in the world.

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