Courses

Summer class 2024

Recanati e Restauro

10th – 28th June, 2024
Location: Recanati, Italy
Language of instruction: English

Instructor: Giovanni Pagani, Director Recanati e Restauro

Minimum Intervention Conservation Techniques

A book is made of several parts, and our goal as conservators is to preserve and protect each element, treating it as a complete object. The field of conservation has moved from the approach of extensive substitution, to one where the maximum historical components are conserved as-is; the role of the conservator is to maximize chemical and structural stability without compromising the original intention and context of the book.

One of the conservators central to shifting this methodology and approach, Christopher Clarkson, said “‘Minimum intervention’ means minimum interference. Paradoxically, however, a book conservator needs to acquire considerable knowledge and experience before attempting to practice ‘minimum intervention’”[1]

[1] The 9th International Congress of IADA, Copenhagen, 1999.


The goal of this three-week course for practicing conservators is to engage with the theories, approaches, and techniques of minimum intervention, focusing on historical awareness and research-based decision-making.

Students for this course will be familiarising themselves with a number of skills, including:

  1. The use of unconventional tools, for example microdrill use in endband consolidation
  2. Different kinds of support extension and consolidation
  3. Sewing consolidation
  4. Endband repair
  5. Wooden and carton board repair
  6. The ethics and techniques of working with fragments that are part of the book structure

We hope to bring together professionals from different backgrounds, to exchange ideas, and to share the challenges they face from their unique locations. The cornerstone of our course will be the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of our workspace, welcoming diverse perspectives, and challenging and supporting each other as we navigate the world of minimal intervention.  


Instructor: Giovanni Pagani is a Book and Manuscript Conservator with over 20 years of experience. He is the director of Recanati e Restauro, and the owner of Re.Li.C. Conservation Studio. His previous clients include Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma, Library and Archive of “Santa Casa di Loreto”, Library and Archive of Recanati. He also works internationally with conservation projects in Egypt and Gaza, funded by the Levantine Foundation, The British Council, and previously The Prince Claus Fund and The Barakat Trust. He has been teaching book, paper, and manuscript conservation for over a decade.


Due to the intensive, interactive nature of the course, we will take no more than 8 students so as to ensure enough individual time with the instructor. Applicants will be accepted based on their professional experience in book conservation, with priority given to those working with libraries/archives/museums, as this is not an introductory level course.


Accommodation costs: In the range of  € 600 Euros on a shared basis, or students can arrange for their own accommodation.

Funding: We do not offer scholarships or financial aid at this moment, but we can send supporting documents to your institutions for funding, or if you apply for grants.

Travel: We will supply documentation to the relevant embassies for students accepted into the course. Travel costs are to be borne by the student.

Application link: https://forms.gle/W4RYkGm247RFbmmA6

Last day to apply: March 15th 2024

We encourage you to reach out to us at recanatires@gmail.com with any questions, including about visa application processes for international students.