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The Icon Book & Paper Group is excited to announce the 2021 Conference Mod Cons: Modern Conservation. Modern Constraints. Modern Conveniences. The conference will be completely online in response to environmental, accessibility and health priorities. Mod Cons will run over 4 afternoon sessions from 4 – 7 October 2021.


The conference offers an opportunity to share and exchange ideas demonstrating how we are constantly required to evolve within the Book and Paper specialism. We bring conservation forward with modern advocacy and solving current issues. How are sustainable environmental decisions incorporated into our work? How are we addressing the lack of diversity working on a material that holds such diverse history and cultures? What new tools, techniques and treatments have been adapted or introduced to the field? How is Book and Paper conservation merging with digital solutions to improve access and efficiency in workflows? 



The Icon Book & Paper Group is pleased to open the call for posters. Please download and use the designated template available below, sharing what you want your poster to demonstrate. This is an opportunity to share a project, a treatment, a program, surveys or introduce new ideas in a visually appealing and succinct manner. 

Participation from students, new Icon members and professionals in allied fields is encouraged. 

Special consideration will be given to ensure that a variety of topics and geographical/cultural range will be represented.

Only one poster per presenter. All Poster Proposals are subject to approval by members of the Book & Paper Group Conference Committee. Posters selected must be in English and submitted as a PDF. 

The deadline for posters is 22 March 2021. Members of the Book & Paper Group Conference Committee will review submissions and notify speakers no later than 16 April 2021.



This year the conference is completely online and we would like to make it as fun and interactive as possible by having online workshops! We are looking for people who are keen to share their knowledge and skills through a hands-on activity. This might be crafting a tool, creating a cool book support or even showing your tips and tricks for mounting.

If you are interested in sharing a demonstration, new tool or technique, this is your chance to display your hand skills and share with others - virtually!

Deadline for workshop applications is January 31st. Application form can be found below.



The conference aims to host a diverse and global selection of speakers including emerging professionals, freelance conservators, conservation scientists, craftsmen, education heads and parallel professionals. The B&P Group also invites ideas for online workshops or demonstrations. 

Abstracts are invited for 20 minute presentations on all aspects of conservation relevant to the theme, including scientific studies and PhD research.

Examples of possible topics could include:

  • Environmentally sustainable options on the bench, in the exhibit and in storage. 
  • Case studies of decolonising conservation. 
  • Integration of makers knowledge into treatment, displays and storage.
  • Digital collaborations and the role of the conservator.
  • Financial trends and project management to ensure a sustainable work practice. 
  • Novel treatments and creation of new tools or techniques. 


How to apply:

Authors interested in presenting a paper should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words in English, along with a short bio and a 2-minute video introducing your topic. Facilitators interested in presenting a workshop or demonstration should submit a brief description of no more than 500 words in English. Please download and use the designated template available below, or request a copy by emailing

Email your submission to through WeTransfer, with Mod Cons 2021 in the message line. The deadline is 31st of January 2021. All abstracts will be reviewed by an Icon Book & Paper Panel. Selection of papers are based on originality, relevance to topic and current issues, methodology and clarity of expression. Selected papers will be confirmed by March 2021.