Alumni publish the world's largest academic resource on book conservation

Aptly titled Conservation of Books, a definitive 700-page reference guide which took two years to create and was edited by esteemed West Dean alumna Abigail Bainbridge has been recently published by Routledge. 

Abigail enlisted 16 alumni and former tutors from West Dean to join a global team of 70 conservators and conservation scientists to produce the book. This is the first ever reference book of this magnitude for book conservators and will be a cornerstone text for years to come.

Abigail earned an MA in Book Conservation and has been a conservator for 16 years. She is a director of Bainbridge Conservation in London, and from 2013–2020 was a tutor on the Book Conservation programme here.

Abigail says: “I always wanted this book to exist, and finally made it happen. Conservation of Books is a quintessential reference work for book conservators and anyone working with books, such as collection managers, librarians, curators, dealers, collectors, historians, and related professionals. It is also an indispensable text for students to complement hands-on training in this field.

It was a huge project and many of the contributors were West Dean alumni and former tutors, from books, metalwork, furniture, and science specialisms. It was important to me that this could be an opportunity for recent graduates as well as some of my more established former students and colleagues. The reaction in our specialist field has been incredible.

I am thrilled to hear that there’s a copy in the library at West Dean!”

To celebrate the launch of the book, which is part of a series of books on Conservation and Museology, Abigail is hosting a series of talks and workshops. More details can be found here:

Congratulations to everyone involved in the production of this fantastic resource!