Volume 9 - Spring 2000


The Institute of Paper Conservation


The Institute of Paper Conservation (IPC) is the leading organisation devoted solely to the conservation and preservation of paper, books, and related materials. Whilst the headquarters are based in the UK, the membership is world-wide and over half of its 1,450 members are international.

Established in 1976, the organisation's objective is the advancement of the craft and science of paper and book conservation, both within the profession and the wider public domain. Whilst most of its members are practising conservator-restorers, membership is open to anyone with an interest in the conservation and preservation of paper and books; members include librarians, archivists, curators, bookbinders, picture framers, paper scientists, artists, historians and papermakers. Subscription costs currently range from £25 (UK student) to £110 (overseas corporate). Annual individual UK membership costs £48 for which they receive an academic journal, four quarterly newsletters, a Membership Directory and the opportunity to attend meetings and to purchase specialist publications at beneficial rates.

In recent years the craft and science of paper and book conservation has become increasingly sophisticated and diverse and one of IPC's main roles is to facilitate the interchange of ideas and techniques amongst its members. Its journal, The Paper Conservator, is published annually and encompasses a broad sweep of topics, ranging from specific techniques to environmental control, workshop health and safety, research on papermaking techniques and studies of papermaking fibres and other materials. Back issues of most journals are currently in stock and are available to members at reduced prices. Paper Conservation News is published quarterly and updates members as to IPC news, dates of meetings and specialist lectures, practical tips and new techniques, book and conference reviews, new products, job vacancies, abstracts of other publications, editorials and occasional correspondence.

The IPC holds regular specialist meetings, ranging from evening lectures to week-long seminars, covering a variety of topics and facilitating continuous professional development. The Institute has also held four major international conferences, each attracting over 500 delegates. Meetings planned for the next year include: a practical workshop at a major museum on the use of vacuum points in paper conservation; a five-day course on the history and techniques of decorated bookbinding; and a major two-day conference at the Tate Gallery on the multi-discipline subject of toning materials for conservation.

As a professional body, the Institute of Paper Conservation has recently joined forces with the other main conservation organisations in the UK to form the National Council for Conservation-Restoration (NCC-R). Within this umbrella organisation, a system of accrediting practising conservators has been trialled and will be implemented in 2000. On the basis of this very significant development, the IPC has recently instigated a Fast-Track route of Accreditation for members who have been practising for at least ten years. These individuals will be awarded their credentials in early 2000 and will form the core of an internationally recognised body of professional conservator-restorers.

For individuals and institutions that require the service of a conservator-restorer, whether for a single item or a large and diverse collection the Institute can supply, free of charge, the names and addresses of accredited members, either by geographical area or with a particular expertise. Some of the more commonly used areas of expertise that members have been accredited in are: conservation of photographs of all types, books on parchment, vellum or paper, archives and maps, Eastern and Western art, globes, wallpaper, screens and scrolls, fans, models, papier-maché, and ephemera. They can also give advice on preventive conservation, disaster planning, storage and display of the object.

For further information about the Institute, it's members, publications or events contact:

The Institute of Paper Conservation
Leigh Lodge, Worcester

The following information was added to the original article on 4th August 2006

The Institute of Paper Conservation closed down in 2005 and merged with Icon, the Institute of Conservation. Here are the new contact details:

The Institute of Conservation
3rd Floor, Downstream Building
1 London Bridge

Tel: (+44) (0)20 7785 3803
Fax: (+44) (0)20 7785 3806


Skin Deep - Volume 9 - Spring 2000

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