Collection Care

Letter C 1583aroline calls herself a library conservator because she deals with every aspect of books’ well-being in their own environment. She provides advice on a range of issues and has also refined a conservation methodology, in which she was trained by Dr. Nicholas Pickwoad, working in situ to carry out many stabilising repairs to collections. On average, 80 – 90% of material within libraries needs stabilising and by working on site books do not have to packed up and transported to a studio or exposed to differing environmental conditions. Caroline’s experience in working with over 500 libraries gives her a breadth of knowledge on which to draw to provide tailored and practical advice on the following:

  • In-situ conservation
  • Stabilisation: Repairs to bindings and textblocks, leather treatments, protection and support
  • Training
  • Damage: Identification & causes of
  • Positioning of books on shelves
  • Storage / shelving
  • Environment
  • Handling
  • Exhibitions
  • Salvage
  • Packing
  • Security

Publications include three booklets written for the British Library preservation Advisory Centre:

  • Cleaning
  • Damaged books
  • Packing

BLPAC Publications

“Caroline Bendix provides an excellent conservation service with a special focus on collection-wide conservation. This results in a professional with a greater understanding of the importance of stabilization and cleaning as part of a long-term conservation plan, which in the long term saves money and protects the collection for the future.”

— Rev. Emma Walsh, Librarian, Angus Library, Regent’s Park College

“Caroline Bendix has led a team of four conservators, annually undertaking a month’s conservation work of the pre-1800 volumes in the Codrington Library since Easter 1989. To date an estimated 13,000 volumes have been cleaned, and boxed or shoed as necessary. Great care has been taken to ensure the volumes have been kept in their correct order.

The work has been undertaken in the library mainly, though not exclusively, when the library is closed to students. Caroline has been happy to answer any questions from visitors to the library, and to demonstrate the methods used – which can differ from volume to volume. At the same time she has been very happy to discuss with our Graduate Trainees methods and materials used in the conservation of books.

We have always been impressed by her professionalism and the care taken with the collection under conservation. Caroline has also advised on the environmental conditions needed to safe guard a collection comprised of many different materials and ages. The most impressive aspect of Caroline’s work in the library is her appreciation and awareness of the collection as a whole, her ability to prioritise, and her holistic approach to conservation.”

— Dr. Norma Aubertin-Potter, Librarian-in-Charge, All Souls College, Oxford