My name is Jillian Gregory, in September 2012 I completed the Masters course in Paper Conservation at Camberwell College of Art, London, UK, gaining a Distinction. I am passionate about the conservation and preservation of historic documents and artistic works on paper, and see it as a privilege to be able to be a part of caring for our collective past. It was whilst studying Photography at undergraduate level that my interest in working with historical material was ignited, undertaking projects using archival and found photographic material. This led me to studying Paper Conservation, and the beginnings of my career in the heritage sector. As part of my continued professional development, I undertook two work placements during my studies, at the National Maritime Museum, and at the Essex Record Office. From these I gained invaluable experience in both museum and archival paper conservation studios. I have also undertaken work placements at institutions including the V&A, the Guildhall Art Gallery, the Stanley Kubrick Archive, and the special collection at UCL, to name just a few. I am a member of ICON (Institute of Conservation) and recently became a committee member of the Independent Paper Conservators' Group (IPCG), both of which help keep me up to date with the latest conservation news. I worked as a paper conservator during my year living in Canada, post studying, and currently work part-time at Bethlem Museum of the Mind. I am based in North London, and am available for freelance work. Recent and ongoing clients include Spink Auction House, as well as private collectors and dealers of prints, watercolours, maps, and football memorabilia. I can be reached via the 'contact me' section below.
2012 – MA in Paper Conservation, with Distinction. Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London.
2011 – Post Graduate Diploma in Paper Conservation, with Merit. Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London.
2008 – 2.1 BA Hons Editorial Photography. University of Brighton.
2005 – Foundation Diploma in Fine Art. Central St. Martins College, University of the Arts London.
Recent conservation employment includes the following:
Archive Conservator – Bethlem Museum Of The Mind, Beckenham, Kent, UK.
October 2014 – Present
I am currently employed part-time at Bethlem Museum, and am the sole Conservator within the department. The role involves conservation of the Museum’s large archival collection, as well as non-archival artworks, and myriad other day to day tasks within the Museum setting.
Project Conservator – The National Archives, Kew, London, UK.
November 2013 – September 2014
This post at TNA was within the Commercial Business Department. Conservators were responsible for treating documents within the collection so they could be scanned and digitised for outside clients, such as ancestry websites and educational publishers.
Assistant Conservator – BC Land Titles and Survey Authority, New Westminster, B.C Canada.
November 2012 – September 2013
The role of Assistant Paper Conservator involved undertaking treatments including surface cleaning, backing removal, tape and adhesive removal, humidification and flattening, linings, and repairs to documents. It was also a supervisory role, providing guidance and help to other staff members.
Auxiliary Paper Conservator – Fraser Spafford-Ricci Fine Art Conservation, Surrey B.C, Canada.
A short project working alongside another paper conservator, to conserve the first map of Vancouver. The project focused on backing removal, adhesive removal, blotter washing and lining of the large-scale map. It provided a great opportunity to work as part of a team and with handling a largely oversized object.
Ceramic Packing Project – Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver B.C, Canada.
A private donation of c.1000 Peruvian ceramics was donated to MOA. The objects had to be carefully checked off, wrapped and packed on location at the donor’s house, before being shipped to the museum. A variety of differently sized objects were handled, and some mouldy ceramics were also dealt with. An inventory was also created for the newly acquired collection once it was received at the museum.
Mould Removal Project – Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver B.C, Canada.
A short project in which mould was removed from a new donation of objects the museum had acquired. Materials included wood, silk, vinyl, paper and ceramics.
I have undertaken a variety of work experience roles at the following institutes:
The Museum of Anthropolgy, Vancouver.
February 2013 – May 2013
The City of Vancouver Archives, Vancouver.
November 2012 – May 2013
The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), London.
The National Maritime Museum, London.
November 2011 – September 2012.
The Essex Record Office, Chelmsford, Essex.
July 2011 – September 2012.
The Guildhall Art Gallery, London.
The Stanley Kubrick Archive, London College of Communication, London.
575 Wandsworth Road, National Trust property, London.
Special Collection at University College London, London.
January 2011 – March 2011.
Ham House, National Trust property, London.
October 2010 – March 2011.
Skills // Please take a look at my portfolio of work and feel free to contact me if you have any conservation and/or preservation enquiries!
About this Blog // Here is where you can find about all my exciting conservation escapades.
Yesterday I completed my first volunteering session at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver. I am undertaking a few months volunteer work there, with the aim of learning more about collection management issues.
The first day’s tasks however were more about helping out staff members with particular tasks as there was a staff shortage that day. The tasks I undertook included making up resin and metal testing strip samples, for students to use the following week in practicing Oddy testing. I also helped re-install a large framed artwork and some smaller wooden masks into the gallery space. Later in the day I helped the loans department by unwrapping, checking and photographing artworks that have just been sent to the museum on loan for an upcoming exhibition.
It was a varied and interesting first day, and I am looking forward to completing more days like this.
Resin samples and metal testing strips made for students to practice Oddy testing with.
During January 2013 I undertook a ceramic packing project for the Museum of Anthropology (MOA), Vancouver. A private donation of Peruvian ceramics was donated to the museum, which had to be wrapped and packed, before being transported to the museum where and inventory of the collection was made. Mouldy ceramics were also dealt with, which required the use of correct personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a respirator, gloves, and lab coat. Some framed textiles were also wrapped as part of the donation. The project required a high degree of organisation, team work, and careful handling. Below are some pictures from the project.
Packing mouldy ceramic shards.
Packing a framed textile.
Packing a ceramic bowl.
Recently I undertook a calcium phytate treatment on a document featuring iron gall ink, following the guidelines found on the ink corrosion website. The treatment was carried out on a bench, rather than in baths, as an experiment in working this way. The principle is exactly the same except the work is done on a bench allowing documents to be worked on a number at a time should sink/bath space be an issue. Each stage of the treatment is applied by dripping the solution (wash/calcium phytate/rinse/deacidify) on to the object gently with a natural sponge, before dabbing off and carrying out the next step. It was a really interesting way to work as I had not tried this before, neither had I carried out a calcium phytate treatment, so both were interesting new experiences. The treatment was a success as indicated by Bathophenanthroline-indicator paper strips placed on the iron gall ink after treatment.
Document during calcium phytate treatment carried out on the bench.
Bathophenathroline indicator paper before, during and after treatment (left to right), showing successful treatment.