Ruth works as a contract project conservator with Caroline Bendix ACR (National Trust and The Arts Society advisor for library collections), and regularly travels to National Trust properties for in-situ library conservation projects.
In October 2013 Sissinghurst Castle Garden started a 4 year conservation project to stabilise the collection of 11,000 19th and 20th century books collected by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. Due to unstable materials and insubstantial structures typical of modern book production, approximately 80% of the collection required textblock supports and some remedial conservation. The project was shortlisted for the Icon Award for Conservation in the Community in 2015. You can read a blog about how the project inspired one of the volunteers working at Sissinghurst.
This project has finished and the libraries are now stabilised for the foreseeable future. Please visit and see if you can spot any bookshoes or shelfliners!
Ruth is now undertaking a similar project at Nymans, near Handcross, West Sussex. She will be working in the winter months while the house is being cleaned, carrying out in-situ conservation and providing books with textblock supports where needed.
Other National Trust libraries Ruth has been involved with are: