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 Workshop: Conservation of Leather Bindings, Croatia

Croatian State Archives, Zagreb

Recently Karen Vidler was approached by Lady Beresford-Peirse of the International Trust for Croatian Monuments to deliver training in leather conservation techniques to Conservator-Restorers working in Croatian Libraries and Archives. The Trust was established in response to damage and destruction of monuments of culture in Croatia and support projects in the restoration of churches, cathedrals, museums, libraries and works of art.

The Workshop
As part of the Trusts remit to support education and training for conservators and restorers, Karen delivered a one-week program of seminars and workshop 'Conservation of Leather Bindings' held at The Central Laboratories for the Conservation and Restoration of Archives, Croatian State Archives, Zagreb, in June 2010. The program focused on current theories in the conservation of leather bookbindings and their treatment. Participants were Conservator-Restorers working in regional archives in Pazin, Karlovac, Split, Zadar as well as staff from the Central Laboratory in Zagreb. 

Some of the participants

The workshop offered a series of lecturers on the theory and practice of collection care and conservation of leather bindings open to Conservator-Restorers, Librarians and Curators. Practical workshops for the Conservator-Restorers included visual and small sample analysis of degraded leathers, treatments options for leathers and techniques for board reattachment. The images above shows some of the Conservator-Restorers working on individual book conservation projects at The Central Laboratories. 

Karen would like to thank Mrs Tatjana Mušnjak, Head of the Central Laboratory for Conservation and Restoration and Assistant Director for Preservation of Archival Material, for allowing her to conduct the workshop within the Central Laboratory. Mrs Mušnjak was very enthusiastic and encouraging of the training program. Also much thanks to Mr Igor Kozjak, Head of Bindery and Book Conservator with the Central Laboratories for his assistance is setting up the workshop and providing Croatian translation throughout the week. Karen and the participants would like to thank Lady Beresford-Peirse and the International Trust for Croatian Monuments for arranging the workshop. The work of the Trust is vital for the future enjoyment of the cutural heritage of Croatia and Karen was honoured to have been asked to provide training in book conservation to Conservator-Restorers working on Croatia's moveable heritage.

A big thank you from Karen and the participants for the support of the following conservation and bookbinding materials suppliers for contributing catalogues and samples for the workshop:Suppliers List

  • Conservation by Design
  • Griffen Mill
  • Harmatan & Oakridge Leathers
  • J.Hewit & Sons Ltd.
  • Jemma Lewis Marbling and Design
  • John Purcell Paper
  • P&S Engraving
  • Preservation Equipment Ltd.
  • William Cowley
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