The Atelier DeLibro is highly skilled in Book and Paper Conservation. Located in Gisborne (New Zealand), DeLibro is looking to preserve and promote the historical international patrimony. Conserving is a way to protect a source, to give an access previously impossible to a document and to carry on the life of the objects which could get damaged and disappear from the knowledge of Humanity.
The Atelier DeLibro does exist since 2010 in Grenade, Spain. Specialized in Book and Paper Conservation, DeLibro cooperates with several institutions as museums, libraries, archives, but also collectors and antics bookshops. The Atelier DeLibro worked for example with the University of Grenade, The municipal Archives, the Museum Casa de los Tiros, the antics bookshop Reciclaje and other important figures of the world of the book in this region. But thanks to various contacts and multiple experiences in France, Spain, Latin America, New-Zealand and even in the Antarctic, the Atelier DeLibro gained a very international view of the profession and is always looking for going to European or international projects. The Atelier has recently moved to New Zealand and is always looking forward to encountering challenging and enriching collaborations. Now back to France, the studio is set up in Nantes at the 16Ter, a center of conservation where different conservators share their specialities and work together to improve the quality and the recognition of their role.
After getting a Master in History at the University La Sorbonne in Paris, Aline Leclercq focuses on specializing in Book and Paper Conservation, inspired by reading and manipulating old documents during the parisian studies. Having already an academic background, she trains during two years in private and public studios, in order to learn directly from professionals. She makes several trainings in bookbinding and book and paper conservation. She passes the French technical exam, CAP “Arts de la reliure et de la dorure” that she prepared by herself. She decides then to join the course led by Olivier Maupin at the Ateliers d’Arts Appliqués du Vésinet in Paris in Book Conservation for a year. This first step in Aline Leclercq’s education has been very beneficial, especially in getting technical skills. In order to increase the value of this savoir-faire and to go for more in Sciences and Philosophy of Conservation, Aline studies at the Camberwell College of Arts of London and gets a Master in Book Conservation in 2007. Well trained in both technical and academic sides of the profession, she begins her career in France as a conservator and a paper conservation teacher. But after a year, she decides to move to the South of Spain, called by an interesting and challenging project in collaboration with the University of Grenade. And that is where she founds the Atelier DeLibro.
ETHICS AND VISION OF CONSERVATION
For more than thirty years now, Book and/or Paper Conservation do exist as specialities. Before integrated to bookbinding or to conservation in general, there is today a proper way to train and to define these specialities, respecting ethical and technical rules valuable for the entire conservation world.
Ethical neutrality: The conservator’s work should influence as less as possible the originality, the identity and the history of the document.
Technical neutrality: all products and materials used for the treatment of an item have to be neutral (principally non acidic), in order to promote a well-preserved document and to avoid future risks. The technical intervention (methods used) of the conservator has to be neutral, which means not changing the original.
All materials and products used for a conservation work have to be reversible; every treatment applied to an item must be potentially removed if necessary in the future.
The intervention on a document has to be stable physically and chemically speaking; the treatment has to be stable time while without deforming internally or externally the document. That is why, it is very important after a treatment to advice and guide the owner to ensure that the work will be well-stored and the stability of the document guaranteed (environment, exhibition conditions, storage conditions, etc.)
These basic rules enable a respectful preservation of the documents; it is not only about participating to an ephemeral “rescue” of an object, which can be dangerous for the documents but also the preservation of historical sources.
Several official publications establish and fix these ideas. The most important is the Venice Charter from 1964 (presented by the ICOMOS organization during the Second International Congress of architects and technicians of historic monuments); even if the text focuses on the architectural conservation, the ideas defended and expressed must lead all conservation work in general.
The AIC organization also published a “Code of Ethics and Guidelines for practice” presenting the basic rules that every conservator must follow. This text is available online.
You can also find all these ideas about the Ethics of conservation in the specialized literature, especially the Cesare Brandi and Salvador Muñoz Viñas publications. (refer to the Bibliography on the website).