Profession: book and paper conservator

The AHEH (Arts and Humanities Entrepreneurship Hub) asked us to explain our job in an interview (you can read it all here).

We try to summarize in the video below what this profession consists of.
We speak bout preservation and conservation, a field linked to science, history and arts and crafts. Pointing at what differenciates us from forgers and showing how we produced a hand-made suction table to restore paper artifacts, with loads of creativity, a feature most necessary to become paper conservator!


Cinematographer: Pep Soler.
Conservators: Paula Bueso, Ana Tourais, Rita Udina.
The same video is also available Spanish: De profesión: restauradora de libros y documentos. Subtitles in both of them.

My sincere acknowledgement to the owners of the restored objects (click on the link for the conservation treatment):

  • Association of Architects of Catalonia (CoAC)
    Manuscript with a key lock from which the mechanism needed to be solved, and a drawing by Domènech Montaner which required a lot of creativity for the tape removal, with regard to its exhibiton.
  • Collection Alfonso Casals
    Oversized film poster, that is being lined quietly and solitary at the conservation lab.
  • Collection Serrano Gras
    Replacement of a sewn endband, when it is so difficult to know whether to reproduce or to restore.
  • Collection Vergès-Fontanals
    Orange poster with losses that need to be infilled according to precise aesthetic requirements (…rather than forged!).
  • Gallery Art-Areté (Andorra)
    Complete series of “The Disasters of War”, by Goya, proudly  exhibited in the art gallery, after conservation.
  • Grau-Garriga Centre for Contemporary Textile Art (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona)
    Fugitivity test for bleeding inks on a pastel and gouache drawing (water drop absorbed with blotter).
  • Historical Archive of Lleida (Spain)
    Manuscript with iron gall inks to which the conservator Paula Bueso is applying a wet treatment in the sink, to prevent its self destruction.
  • Regional Archive of Alt Empordà (Figueres, Girona)
    Sewn endband severely damaged, that we will reproduce in order to guarantee an efficient bond of the textblock with the binding (a semi-limp vellum binding).
  • Regional Archive of Baix Ebre (Tortosa, Tarragona)
    Manuscript infilled by conservator Ana Tourais, who is trimming the excedent edges. Another similar manuscript from the same archive, which is magicaly restored as long as we flip the folios, showing the before and after (in that other conservation worked  the conservators Se Hee Song and Maria Correa).
  • Regional Archive of la Segarra (Cervera, Lleida)
    Medieval manuscript on laid paper with limp vellum binding in reverse parchment, with flap, which is observed under the magnifier after conservation, proudly stating how nice it looks. Further on on the video we can see images of the disbinfig and how the locks and tacket knots are being varefully reported in order to leave them as they were after flattening the covers.
  • Regional Archive of Vallès Occidental (Terrassa, Barcelona)
    Manuscript with semi-limp vellum binding with ties which is about to be opened, in the beginning of the video.
  • Mercè Centellas Llopis
    Gouache drawing by Joan Ponç from which we place the fragments, and the cracks are being fixed with brush before the wet treatment.

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