ISG Committee Away Day

Hazel Neill, the newest member of the Icon Scotland Group Committee, describes the group’s recent away day to Kelvin Hall in this week’s blog post….

A Glasgow institution, Kelvin Hall has been the setting for every conceivable cultural and sporting event since it first opened in 1927. It is entirely fitting therefore [its former purpose having been usurped by new facilities across the city] that it should be re-developed as a repository for collections from the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Museums and the National Library of Scotland, as well as retaining its services as a sporting centre.

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Paper Conservators in Scotland, News and Ideas Exchange 2017

By popular demand we are holding another ‘5 minute presentation’ event! Read about the previous exchange events here and here.

When: 1.15pm for 1.30pm start, Wednesday 19th April 2017
Where: Centre for Research Collections, 6th Floor, University of Edinburgh Library, 30 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LJ
Cost: Free! Refreshments included. Thanks to ICON SG for financial support.

This event is an informal opportunity for us to get together to share news and information about our current work. We are looking for 5 minute presentations where you can talk about a topic that you think paper colleagues would be interested to hear about. We invite paper people in Scotland of all levels of experience to contribute, and are hoping to have a very supportive and non judgemental afternoon. There will be tea and coffee at the start, at the end, and the in the middle, so there will be plenty of opportunity to chat to colleagues.

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Review of the 19th Annual Plenderleith lecture “Antiquities trafficking – 21st century developments”

It was a full house for the Icon Scotland Group’s Annual Plenderleith Lecture last month, this time in Glasgow. The event proved such a draw that some members travelled from as far afield as Bristol to attend, and the Icon Chair of the Board of Trustees, Siobhan Stevenson, had come over from Belfast.

The group gathered at the St Mungo Museum of Religious Art and Life to hear Dr Neil Brodie address a controversial and highly topical subject: the global trafficking of antiquities and other cultural objects.

plenderleith

Plenderleith lecture

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Crowdsourcing Conservation

During the Festival of Creative Learning (20-24 February 2017), the Centre for Research Collections (CRC), University of Edinburgh, will be hosting its first ever conservation crowdsourcing event!

Over a two-day period (20-21 February), with the help of 30 participants, they aim to rehouse section II of the Laing manuscripts – the University’s most important written collection.

Folder from section II of the Laing manuscripts

Folder from section II of the Laing manuscripts

Laing’s collection of charters and other papers is of national importance and the most distinguished of its kind in any Scottish university. It is an essential resource for the 18th century, however, it is in poor condition due to its current housing in unsuitable upright boxes and folders. It is an extremely popular collection, but it is difficult to access and there is a risk of further damage every time it is handled.

Section II of the Laing Manuscripts in unsuitable upright boxes

Section II of the Laing Manuscripts in unsuitable upright boxes

Section II of the Laing manuscripts stored in upright box (left) and damage caused to collection due to storage (right)

Section II of the Laing manuscripts stored in upright box (left) and damage caused to collection due to storage (right)

To solve this problem, we want to rehouse the collection in acid-free folders and boxes. During the event, we aim to complete repackaging work of all 137 boxes. Each day will consist of a training session in the morning, followed by practical work. In the afternoon, volunteers will be joined by staff members from the CRC who will talk to them about their roles, whilst helping to carry out the conservation work. Good quality complimentary refreshments and catering will be provided throughout the day to encourage networking during break times. A behind-the-scenes tour of the CRC, where the participants will get to see the newly rehoused collection will be offered after the event.

Places are limited to 15 participants per day. If you are a student or staff member of the University of Edinburgh, you can book on the Monday session, by clicking here and the Tuesday session, by clicking here. If you are not a part of the University, please email emily.hick@ed.ac.uk to book your place.

Emily Hick

Special Collections Conservator

Innerpeffray Library visit

What a fascinating day out we all had at the Innerpeffray Library on the 25th August, organised by Isobel Griffin, Collections Care Manager at the National Library of Scotland.

Innerpeffray library was the first free public lending library in Scotland, and possibly the world. The library was founded by the Drummond family in 1680 and its main purpose was to make books accessible to ordinary people, free of charge, to benefit the local community. Although, Innerpeffray is understandably no longer a lending library, it is still possible to spend the day perusing the incredibly eclectic library collections in their cosy reading room.

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Book conservation skills for paper conservators

Book conservation skills for paper conservators: a two day workshop

Date:              20th and 21st September 2016

Venue:           The National Library of Scotland,159 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1PH

Two day theory and practical workshop, for 10 delegates, run by Icon accredited book conservator, Caroline Scharfenberg.

The boundary between book and paper conservation is fluid. Book conservators need to cover specialist paper conservation knowledge and paper conservators often need to address mixed collections, which also include bound material. This workshop addresses the need for paper conservators to have a basic knowledge about book structures and the typical damage found in book collections. These skills will enable paper conservators to stabilise book collections and to better assess damage and the required repair.  It will also allow paper conservators to better identify damaged bound material, which will have to be addressed by a professional accredited book conservator.

Cost:   £150.00 Icon Members, £175.00 Non-Icon members

Please bring with you:

A small tool kit containing a paste brush, brush for consolidant in solvent, bone folder, Teflon bone folder, scalpel and 10A blades, spatula, metal ruler, scissors and tweezers and A4 cutting mat.

For enquiries contact the event team at eventsisg@gmail.com

 Bookings and payments through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/book-conservation-skills-for-paper-conservators-a-two-day-workshop-tickets-26486073559

Paper Conservators: News and Ideas Exchange 2016

Due to the success of last year’s ‘News and Ideas‘ exchange, the event was repeated at the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh again this year in May. During the session, 19 Conservators from all over Scotland gave 5-minute presentations on a wide range of topics such as treatments they had carried out, problems they had encountered and work flow processes. Conservation volunteers, Mathilde Renauld and Paula Burbicka, submitted a joint review of this event which gives readers an insight into the subjects covered, and the benefits of the gathering…

Paper conservators

Panel of paper conservators

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Emerging Professionals Trip to Edinburgh Castle

Icon Scotland (ISG) organized an event this March to bring together students and emerging professionals while learning about conservation at Edinburgh Castle.  The event, subsidised by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), allowed for students to explore Scotland’s heritage while gaining inside knowledge of how such properties are managed and cared for.  It was also an opportunity to bring together the upcoming cohort of conservators, who came from across Scotland and England to attend the event.

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Emerging professionals outside Edinburgh Castle

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Paper Conservators in Scotland news and ideas exchange

After the success of last year’s event, and by popular demand we are holding another ‘Paper conservators in Scotland news and ideas exchange’

When: 1pm for 1.30pm start, Wednesday 4th May 2016

Where: Centre for Research Collections, 6th Floor, University of Edinburgh Library, 30 George Square

Cost: Free! Refreshments included.

This event is designed to be an informal opportunity for us to get together to share news and information about our current work. We are looking for 5 minute presentations where you can talk about a topic that you think paper colleagues would be interested to hear about. We invite paper people of all levels of experience to contribute, and are hoping to have a very supportive and non judgemental afternoon.

There will be tea and coffee at the start, at the end, and the in the middle, so there will be plenty of opportunity to chat to colleagues.

Your topic might be about

  • A challenging or complex treatment you are involved with
  • An interesting detail of a treatment
  • A conservation problem you are faced with at work that you would like colleagues’ ideas on
  • A new technique or piece of equipment that you have been using

In May 2015 topics included

  • A demonstration of lining with a hikkake pitching stick
  • The challenges of preparing collections for digitisation
  • Working with embossed paper: a discussion around treatment proposals for rolled squeezes

Presentations will be strictly limited to 5 minutes. To help on the technical side we would like people to send digital submissions for their presentations in advance to Ruth Honeybone who is hosting the event (email to  ruth.honeybone@ed.ac.uk).

The space is limited to about 30 people. We are hoping that up to 20 presentations will be given. Please send requests to present / attend to helencreasy@gmail.com

Don’t be shy! There are lots of us paper conservators in Scotland and we meet up all too rarely. We hope that this event will, like last year, connect us better so we can support and help each other in the future. Read a review of last year’s event here.

Paper Conservators Event at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Paper Conservators Event last year at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Visit to the Glucksman Conservation Centre, Aberdeen

On 12 November 2015, a group of hardy Conservators braved the rain and wind of storm Abigail to travel from Edinburgh and Glasgow to visit the Glucksman Conservation Centre at the Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen.

View from upper floors to lower ground floor of the library

View from upper floors to lower ground floor of the library

Rather than being a renovated building, the Glucksman Conservation Centre, which opened in 2012, is a part of the newly built library. Conservators had an input into how the centre was designed, and what equipment was needed, so I was keen to see what this space would look like.

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