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The Book and Paper Group are pleased to present recipients of the BPG Professional Development Bursaries which ran from 2016-2019. 

The scheme – which started in 2015 financed by profits from the group's 2015 Adapt and Evolve Conference – supported professional development by funding training and research in different areas of book and paper conservation. The Group awarded up to five £200 bursaries every six months to support conservators undertaking such training or research. The bursaries were used for professional development such as membership for other professional organisations, travel, tools, attendance for courses, workshops or conferences, etc. 

In order to benefit a range of members, the scheme was open to all Icon Book and Paper Group primary members who were employed in, or pursuing a career in book or paper conservation in the following five categories: Students; ACR/ACR Pathway; Independent conservators; Conservators employed in institutions; Conservators who are currently unemployed.

All bursary recipients wrote a short blog post about their project, which is published on the Icon Book and Paper Group blog and was promoted across our social media platforms.

Thank you to all who have applied for the CPD bursaries since 2015. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to offer any further CPD bursaries. The bursaries were funded by the profits of the group's 2015 Adapt and Evolve Conference, which has now been redistributed over the past five years to our winners.

Interested in hearing more about what individual recipients did with their bursaries? Links to their blog posts are available in their bios! 


October 2019

April 2019

October 2018


April 2018 

October 2017

April 2017

November 2016




Rachel Collins

rachel_collins.jpgRachel Collins is an emerging paper conservator and recently graduated with an MA in Conservation (Art on Paper) from Camberwell College of Arts, London. During her MA, she completed placements at the British Museum’s Hirayama Studio, Royal Museums Greenwich, University College London Library Special Collections and the National Library of Spain. Prior to her training as a paper conservator, she worked in the visual arts at artist development and funding agencies, while undertaking short courses in book and paper conservation in her spare time. She has a degree in BA History from University College London. Rachel will be using her bursary to attend the Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 18 Conference at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in April 2020.

Sophie Coles

sophiecoles.jpgSophie Coles graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2017 and currently works as an archive conservator at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Previous work includes freelance conservation work at The Royal Astronomical Society and National Conservation Service (NCS).The BPG Professional Development Bursary will go towards her attendance at the Conservation of Tracing Paper training at The National Archives in 2020.

Tara Laubach



My name is Tara Laubach. I am 26 years old and I come from Ireland. I am studying a Masters in The Conservation of Fine Art specializing in paper at Northumbria University in Newcastle, in my second year. Before this course I completed the International Academic Projects course Chemistry for Conservators. I also volunteer at The Literature & Philosophy Society Bookbindery in Newcastle and do my own artworks. I will use this bursary from the Book and Paper Group of ICON to attend the 22nd Annual Plenderleith Memorial lecture at The Lighthouse in Glasgow on Thursday 28th November. The ICON Scotland group AGM is on beforehand which I shall also attend. After the Glasgow School of Art was destroyed in a devastating fire in 2016, the Mackintosh building is now being reconstructed. Liz Davidson, the Senior Project Manager, will be discussing the process of building restoration. I hope to find out how much of the reconstruction will rely on architectural sketches and drawings on paper, and how many of these have survived the disaster.  I attended my second summer placement at Edinburgh University Library, so it will also be nice to see some familiar faces as well as some new ones at the drinks reception that is to be held after the speech.

Wanda Robins



Alice Derham


Alice Derham is currently working as a paper conservator in the Western Art on Paper studio at the British Museum and various private studios. Prior to this, Alice worked as a book and paper conservator at the Chester Beatty in Dublin, firstly as the 2017/18 Heritage Council Conservation Intern and then as a contract conservator. Alice graduated with an MA in Conservation of Fine Art (specialising in works of art on paper) from Northumbria University in 2017. Before starting her MA, she undertook a conservation internship at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, India, and gained further pre-course experience at the British Postal Museum and Archive, London. During her MA she undertook placements at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, Jane McAusland’s paper conservation studio in Suffolk, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The bursary will enable Alice to attend the XIVth IADA (International Association of Book and Paper Conservators) Congress in Warsaw in October 2019. Attending this congress will give Alice the opportunity to learn new conservation methods and approaches from conservators working internationally.  

Emma Fraser


Emma completed an MA in Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts, London in 1997. During this time, Emma also attended bookbinding courses at London College of Printing . At the beginning of 1998 she started work as a Book Conservator in the Conservation Studio at The Brenthurst Library, South Africa until March 2000 when she joined the Book & Paper Conservation Studio at the University of Dundee. In 2012 she set up the Book & Paper Studio, a small conservation practice based in the heart of Dundee, Scotland. The Studio regularly takes in interns and Emma has been teaching bookbinding in the Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Studio since 2003.

The Icon Book & Paper Group Development Bursary will assist me in attending the IADA XIVth Congress in Warsaw, Poland on the 23rd-27th September 2019. This international congress offers an extensive program of presentations examining all aspects of book and paper conservation.​

Ana Paula Hirata Tanaka


Ana Paula Hirata Tanaka is an independent conservator and researcher, partner in Tanaka Filmes e Livros Ltda. Originally trained as a book, archival and manuscript conservator-restorer, she has a diverse work experience in her native Brazil and also in Spain, Egypt and the UK. Aligned to her background in architecture, urbanism and graphic design, she has expanded her expertise acting as a technical and strategic consultant too.

She has been working on the creation, development and implementation of projects within the fields of cultural heritage, education and the creative economy, acting and advising on collections care (preservation and conservation) as well as embedding conservation in planning and decision-making process. She holds an MA Conservation from Camberwell College of Arts/University of the Arts London, UK, and a BA Architecture and Urbanism from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Ana Paula will attend the International Seminar “Heritage on fire: who’s next? - Fire risk management for cultural heritage”, promoted by ICCROM, ICOM-Br and IBRAM, held in Rio de Janeiro, in June 2019. The event will cover a sad, but current topic, prompted by the devastation to institutions worldwide caused by fire, such as the National Museum of Brazil in 2018. ​Read more about her course here! 

Jessica Hyslop


After gaining her MA in Conservation of Books and Library Materials at West Dean College in 2016, Jess Hyslop was the conservator for the one-year, NMCT-funded Minton Archive project at the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service. Upon completion of the project in August 2017, Jess joined the Oxford Conservation Consortium, where she assists in delivering conservation and collection care services to 17 of the Oxford colleges. She will put the ICON Book & Paper Group bursary towards the cost of attending a three-day sharpening workshop with Bernard Allen, covering the shaping and maintenance of various edge tools. Read more about her course here! 

Fiona Johnston


Fiona Johnston graduated from Camberwell College of Arts and works at Lambeth Palace Library as a Book and Paper Conservator.  She has previously worked at The Huntington Library and as a freelance conservator for the National Trust.

The B&P Group Professional Development bursary will enable her to attend ‘Tacketed Stationery Binding’, a two-day practical workshop to be held at Carlisle Archive Centre. 

Nikki Tomkins


Nikki Tomkins is a book and paper conservator at the Oxford Conservation Consortium, where she works on the library and archive collections of 17 Oxford Colleges. Before joining the OCC, she graduated with a MA in book and paper conservation from Camberwell College of Arts in 2015. The Book and Paper Group bursary will be going towards a sharpening course with designer-craftsman Bernard Allen, which will cover sharpening and shaping a range of leather edge-paring and lifting knives.  Read more about her course here! 


Hollie Drinkwater


My name is Hollie and I have recently completed an 18-month Heritage Lottery Funded traineeship in Books and Archives Conservation at PZ Conservation, a private conservation studio run by Lizzie Neville in Penzance. I will be moving forward to undertake further training in Books Conservation in 2019, beginning with a 3-month placement in a private conservation studio in Spain from February next year. Read more about how Hollie used her bursary here! 


Erika Freyr


My name is Erika Freyr and I am currently the collections and archives conservator at Northumberland Estates, based at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. I have been working here since 2016 on a range of objects from painted artworks to parchment scrolls, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive the Icon Book and Paper Group bursary to attend the Parchment History and Conservation Workshop at the National Library of Scotland in November 2018. Read more about her course here!


Sarah Graham


Sarah completed a Graduate Diploma and Masters in Conservation of Historic Objects from the University of Lincoln in 2014. After graduating, she was the first intern on the Valuation Office project at the National Archives of Ireland and Incunabula Exhibitions Intern at Glasgow University Special Collections where she later became project conservator for the syphilis collection. She then worked at the Highland Archive Centre before becoming the

Anglo-Jewish project conservator at the London Metropolitan Archives. She is currently working in Maynooth University Special Collections and freelancing. Using the bursary to attend the workshop on ‘Asian papers and their Applications in Paper Conservation’ in Leiden is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the regional differences of paper production and how to better adapt Asian papers for a sympathetic repair. Read more about her workshop here!


Alizée Lacourtiade


Alizée Lacourtiade graduated in 2013 at Institut National du Patrimoine, Paris with a master thesis focusing on the study of a malagasy manuscript and its conservation treatment using fiber glass
textiles. She started her career as private book conservator, helping a wide range of institutions including Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Bibliothèque Humaniste de Sélestat, Musée du Quai
Branly with the care, protection and conservation of their heritage. In fall 2017, she joined the conservation studio of Bibliothèque Mazarine, the oldest public library in France founded in 1643 by
Cardinal Mazarin. Her tasks within the conservation studio team encompasses preventive conservation, book conservation, preparation of exhibition as well as technical, historical study and
research on the Bibliothèque Mazarine’s wide collections.

The Icon Book &Paper Group CPD bursary will allow her to attend Icon Book & Paper Conference 2018. During that event, she will present the study and conservation project she has carried out on a XVI th century Spanish manuscript containing the epic poem La Vitoria by Pedro Manrique, in which ink drawings have been formerly covered by pasted paper leaves.


Anna O'Regan 


Anna is completing her masters in paper conservation at Northumbria University in Newcastle. Her dissertation is on the conservation of eighteenth century “print rooms”, a form of domestic interior decoration in country houses in which etchings or engravings were pasted onto the walls and framed with paper borders. Anna applied for the ICON Book and Paper Group CPD bursary to pay for public transport to several historic houses around England and Ireland which have surviving print rooms.

Anna intends to find out as much as possible from the staff caring for these print rooms about who was involved in their creation, the condition of the prints and their borders, and any conservation treatment the prints have undergone. Anna plans to visit Blickling Hall, The Vyne, Stratfield Saye, Uppark House, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, Calke Abbey, Chatsworth House and Castletown House. She is eager to report back on her findings and is beyond grateful for this financial support. Read more about how Anna used her bursary here!


Sophie Sarkodie


Sophie Sarkodie studied conservation at Camberwell College of Art. She then completed a six month internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She then set up a paper conservation workspace on a new site at the National Museum of Ireland and worked as the Paper Conservator there for two years. On returning to England, Sophie worked at Museum Conservation Services, as a paper conservator for two years. She then worked on large format artworks at the British Library for seven years, whilst there gaining an MA in Arts Management and ICON accreditation. She has been working for Tate since 2012, presently working at Tate Modern on exhibitions and displays.

The ICON bursary will be gratefully used for attending a workshop in Barcelona, ‘Inpainting and Loss Compensation’. 


Sakura Tohma


Sakura, originally from Japan, started to study book conservation at NPO book history and conservation in Nara, Japan. After working at libraries in collections care, she moved to the UK in 2014, where she obtained a Graduate Diploma in Conservation of Books and Library Materials at West Dean Collage, later, an MA in Conservation of Historic Objects at the University of Lincoln. During her studies, she secured an internship at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, India, where she mainly worked on Khamti tribe manuscripts from Arunachal Pradesh. Since April 2018, Sakura is a trainee at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Poland, working on variety of objects such as documents and baskets. 

The bursary will aid her project ‘Conservation of three music scores of the camp orchestra in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum – Examination of treatment methods for pressure- sensitive tapes applied to paper from early 20 th century’, by allowing her to visit other wartime collections held in Polish museums and access historic and conservation resources. Read more about her project here!


Isabelle Egan


Isabelle Egan studied conservation at Camberwell College of Arts and was the first HLF funded intern at the British Library. She joined the British Library full-time and worked as a conservator of works of art on paper and large format objects for over 8 years Isabelle also spent 10 years in the Icon Book & Paper Group Committee the UK professional body for conservation, working under various positions within the committee, to become Chair of the Committee from 2013 to 2015.

She presently works as an independent conservator, and as a consultant conservator specialising in large works of art on paper, maps and papyrus. She is an Icon accredited conservator and works from her studio in Brixton but will shortly be moving to bigger premises in Peckham. Her clients come from public and private institutions, galleries, charities, and private clients. Isabelle will use her Icon Book and Paper Group Bursary towards the cost of a specialist course in retouching works of art within an ethical framework, as well as the tools to developing a systematic approach towards colour matching.


Jasdip Singh Dhillon


Jasdip has been working at the Oxford Conservation Consortium since May 2017, having completed a nine month externally funded project at Berkshire Record Office focusing on the Reading Gaol collection. The bursary will help Jasdip complete a small research project into the history and conservation of South Asian lithographed books. As well as  research paper, this will involve attending a course on stone lithography and also purchasing reproductions of lithographed books from the British Library and the Bodleian library in Oxford. Jasdip’s interest in South Asian lithography is tied closely to his work at Pothi Seva, a community based conservation project for Sikh manuscripts and printed books.


Cécilia Duminuco


Cécilia joined the Cambridge University Library in January 2017 to work on Charles Darwin's Library digitization project. In 2015-2016 she worked at the Chester Beatty Library as the Heritage Council Intern. In 2015 she completed an MA in Conservation of Books and Library Materials at West Dean College. Prior to this, she obtained in 2013 an MA in Painting Conservation at the École Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc of Liège in Belgium, where she trained for five years. 

Attending the Care and conservation of manuscripts CC17 conference in Copenhagen would increase my knowledge in manuscripts, both at a theoretical and practical level. The seminar will allow me to learn about the latest updates on the subject, covering a broad range of topics, including conservation, preservation, science, and digitization. The conference is also a wonderful opportunity to create new professional contacts from various disciplines. I am extremely grateful for ICON support, which will allow me to secure a place for my attendance and contribute to my travel expenses. I look forward to reporting to the ICON News on my return.


Jillian Gregory

After completing an Undergraduate degree in Photography at the University of Brighton, Jillian went on to study Conservation at Camberwell University, undertaking the one-year Post Graduate Diploma followed by the one-year Masters Degree, completed in 2012. After graduating she moved to Vancouver where she worked on a freelance basis for one year at the British Columbia Land Titles Authority, conserving maps, plans, blueprints and documents. She then returned to London, where she worked in the digitisation team at The National Archives. Since 2014 Jillian has worked as Archive Conservator at Bethlem Museum of the Mind on a part-time basis; and also currently works privately part-time at her North-London studio for a variety of clients including private individuals, dealers, auction houses and galleries. The scope of private projects undertaken is thus very broad and projects have included prints, maps, posters, archival family documents, parchment, watercolours and banknotes, to name a few.
The bursary is helping fund attendance on a three-day course entitled 'Inpainting and Loss Compensation on Paper', being held in Barcelona in December 2017 by Paper Conservators Rita Udina and Amparo Escolano. Read more about her course here! 


Mito Matsumaru


After training in Art History and Conservation Science at the Tokyo University of the Arts, Mito Matsumaru enrolled in the West Dean College Books and Library Materials programme. Her MA research is dedicated to understanding the parameters affecting the quality of wheat starch paste: “Wheat starch paste: A study of cooking profiles and adhesive properties across preparation recipes”. She will dedicate this ICON bursary to fund access to viscometry equipement used in food chemistry (the Rapid Visco Analyser) to measure the evolution of starch viscosity under controlled cooking conditions.


Mathilde Renauld


​My name is Mathilde, I am finishing my first year on the Fine Art pathway at Camberwell College, London. My undergraduate was in History of Art at Glasgow University, during which I worked and volunteered in archives and conservation studios in Scotland.

I applied for the BPG Professional Development bursary for support in attending the IAP Gels Conference in October 2017 here in London - I look forward to reporting back!


Françoise Richard

Françoise Richard is an Icon accredited Book and Paper conservator, with international experience in preventive and remedial conservation. After a three-year course in graphic arts and traditional bookbinding at École Estienne, Paris, she joined the Panthéon-Sorbonne University conservation program and graduated in 2005 with a MA in Book and Paper Conservation. She built her professional experience in major Institutions including the Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada, and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK. Her last position as a Book and Manuscript Conservator at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, offered opportunities to work on a variety of printed books, manuscripts, and archival material from the rich collections of Colleges from the University of Cambridge.

The demand from Cambridge College Libraries to re-house and conserve rare Chinese printed books prompted my interest to look at these books through the prism of their conservation history in western collections. Examination of Chinese books printed before 1700 and kept in Cambridge libraries allowed me to understand their typology, and grasp the effects of the custody of western libraries on their materiality. Through this project, I built expertise in a very specific domain which there is no ‘ready-made’ solutions: the conservation of hybrid, westernized Chinese books. 

My research projects included:
Visiting libraries to examine the typology and record the state of preservation of early Chinese printed books in western collections.
Discussing conservation proposals with conservators experienced with the challenges of working on Chinese printed books.
Hands-on conservation work. 

I shared the outcomes of my research with a paper published on the IFLA website (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions): From China to Cambridge: modification of rare Chinese printed books within Cambridge College libraries I also gave a talk in August 2017 at the last IFLA WLIC (World Library and Information Congress) in Wrocław, Poland.


Katie Brew


After finishing my Art History degree in 2012 at Nottingham University I was looking to attend Camberwell to do their Book and Paper MA. However, a week's work experience at a private paper conservation studio near London turned into a four and a half year apprenticeship! In June this year I made the move from London to Newcastle to start a new role at Durham University as their Assistant Paper Conservator and am really enjoying it so far. 

The bursary helped me to attend the Preserving Historic Photographs day course, at a time when we were receiving a large number of photographs into the private studio. The course has also since informed my new role at the Durham archives in terms of collection care. 


Rebecca D'Ambrosio


Following her undergraduate in Book Arts and Design, Rebecca went on to study conservation at Camberwell College of Arts, London, specialising in books and archival materials. During her studies she gained experience on conservation placements in London and Scotland and went on to work for the Wellcome Trust on a short-term contract. Alongside her passion for books, she has a growing interest in conservation of photographic materials and completed a seven-week course at The Centre for Photographic Conservation earlier this year. Rebecca is now working as a Project Conservator at Barts Health NHS Trust for the historical archive of St Mark’s Hospital. The bursary will enable her to attend the training session on Preserving Historic Photographs, where she is looking forward to learning more about how to care better for these collections.


Katharine Lockett ACR


Katharine Lockett is an Icon accredited paper conservator working in private practice with experience of studying and working in the public and private sector at several national and international museums over the last twenty years. She is married with three children and is now based in Yorkshire working on a freelance basis for private clients as well as museums and galleries including The National Portrait Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Tate, and National Galleries of Scotland.

The bursary helped Katharine to attend the AIC Annual Meeting 2017 in Chicago. You can read more about her experience here.




Hero image: 1735 French marble; Public Domain

Profile images: courtesy of bursary recipients