New Icon Scotland Chair and Committee

Last year, Christa Gerdwilker ACR was confirmed as new chair of Icon Scotland. She is taking over from Rob Thomson ACR after his impressive seven year tenure in the post. Here is a message from Christa….

Since joining the Icon Scotland committee last year, I have been blown away by the enthusiasm of its members and the range of activities that are undertaken by the committee. Rob is leaving big boots to fill but after receiving a warm and supportive welcome, I am very much looking forward to working with my fellow committee members. A successful committee is bit like a swan – calm and apparently effortless from the outside but working steadfastly underneath to maintain direction and momentum. In this case, the most outward sign of the work done by the committee is probably the great programme of events that have been put on every year, culminating in our prestigious annual Plenderleith lecture. However, in the background Icon Scotland also collaborates with external heritage bodies on national policy and heritage strategy consultations while supporting Icon UK in its activities. I very much hope to continue in this vein to provide Icon Scotland members with a representative body that delivers for them.

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γνῶθι σεαυτόν – Applying for Accreditation

This week’s blog comes from Simona Cenci, Conservator at the National Library of Scotland. Simona discusses her experience of applying for professional accreditation through Icon. Did you know that if you are a Conservator living and working in Scotland, you can apply for a grant of £350 towards the costs of the PACR process? Click here for more information and how to apply…

γνῶθι σεαυτόν (“know thyself”)

With this ancient religious maxim, carved on the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the god exhorted human beings to get to know themselves and their limits.

When I was asked to write a short blog article about PACR, I initially thought of sharing my experience explaining the reasons why I decided to apply and what the process was like, but half way through I changed my mind. Technical aspects or motivation, in fact, are not what I remember when I look at the process retrospectively.

National Library of Scotland Conservation.

Simona Cenci in the National Library of Scotland conservation studio. Image courtesy of Maverick Photography

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Happy Birthday to us!

Our blog is now 1 year old! Over the past year, we have published 44 articles, and our site has be visited by 3,447 people, with a total of 6,299 views. A big thank you to all those who have submitted articles, posted comments, shared, liked and viewed this site.

This year, we would like to post even more fantastic articles about conservation in Scotland. If you would like to contribute, get in touch! We’d love to hear about any conservation related project you are involved in – all disciplines welcome. Have a look at this post for some ideas, and here are some brief guidelines for articles.

If you have any comments, suggestions or thoughts on what you would like to see in this blog, feel free to post your ideas below.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Happy birthday to us!

Call for papers – ARA Annual Conference 2016, Conservation Stream

Annual Conference: 31 Aug – 2 Sept 2016

London, UK

 Call for Papers: ‘Global Futures’

Conservation Stream

 Conservation has always been a profession of creativity and resourcefulness.  As the world moves forward, we face rapid growth in many areas – but the demands conservators face do not diminish in number as a result of this. This is an opportunity to assess the challenges and the potential that the future offers us, and to share our experiences of how we can face that future with the innovation and ingenuity that we have done in the past.

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William Cowley Parchment and Vellum

An open letter from Patricia Lovett regarding the discontinuation of vellum for recording Acts of Parliament, and the effect on William Cowley Parchment and Vellum Makers. An issue that will affect many conservation disciplines. Please share!

Dear All,

I heard yesterday evening from William Cowley’s that the Houses of Parliament are due to consider on Monday next (19th October) whether to discontinue printing Acts of Parliament on vellum. It is likely to be part of their cost cutting exercises.

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Conservation at the University of Edinburgh

This blog has been jointly authored by the conservation team at the University of Edinburgh to give an insight into the diverse work we do here as well as some of the exciting new developments that we have in the pipeline. We will hear from Emma Davey (Conservation Officer), Emily Hick (Project Conservator) and Jonathan Santa Maria Bouquet (Musical Instruments Conservator). But first up is Ruth Honeybone, who heads up our conservation team.

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Paper Conservators in Scotland: Exchanging News & Ideas

An informal conference took place on the 6th of May, a sort of conservation-clan gathering. The event was organised by Helen Creasy ACR, and was hosted by The National Library of Scotland. It was a relaxed get-together, the aim of which was to facilitate an exchange of ideas and promote useful discussion between paper conservators in Scotland in a supportive and non-judgemental way. Fifteen conservators from across Scotland signed up to give talks; there were 30 participants in total. Each presenter gave a very short talk about an interesting or potentially useful aspect of their work. There was no unifying theme beyond paper conservation, so a huge variety of topics were discussed during the course of the afternoon. The length of each presentation was deliberately limited to 5 minutes, meaning that each subject was discussed in a pithy and succinct manner. The event was a resounding success, with many calling for a repeat in the near future. For those of you who were unable to attend, and for those who are simply curious, here is a quick round-up of the presentations which were given.

Paper Conservators Event at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Paper Conservators event at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

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Calling all Conservators!

D..d..d..drum roll please! The Icon Scotland Group is proud to present its brand new blog! A space for conservators to find out about heritage-related projects and events in Scotland and connect with conservation professionals all over the country. Over the next few weeks we will be posting articles about a wide range of topics; the conservation of musical instruments, the separation of albumen prints, the decay of stone, the experiences of a Scottish conservator in Toyko, as well as reviews of recent training events and lectures in Scotland. Sign up now to get new posts delivered direct to your inbox by clicking the ‘follow me’ button on the right hand side.

If you want to join in the fun and write an article, get in touch! We welcome submissions from conservation professionals in all disciplines at every career stage. Guidelines for articles and information on how to submit can be found in the guidelines tab above. It is hoped that by sharing knowledge and experiences in this blog, connections can be made across disciplines and institutions to form a strong conservation community in Scotland.

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Fàilte! Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the Icon Scotland Group’s brand new blog!

The Scotland Group is the only national sub-group of Icon and represents conservators and conservation professionals at every career stage, working in a wide range of disciplines. This diversity is a key strength of the group, but also makes it difficult to engage all conservation sectors across Scotland. This blog aims to bridge those gaps and provide a platform for discussion, debate and information for all conservation fields represented in Scotland.

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