Tag Archives: Preservation

Meet our new Project Conservator

We are delighted to welcome a new colleague to Special Collections.  Vanessa Santos Torres joins us as Project Conservator for the Putting Flesh on the Bones Project.  Here’s her story, in her own words:

“I am delighted to be part of this fascinating project funded by the Wellcome Trust and having the chance to work in a multidisciplinary team between the University of Bradford’s Special Collections and the Department of Archaeological Sciences.


Vanessa Santos Torres, conservator

I have a degree on Conservation and Restoration and I am specialised in Paper Conservation. Upon conclusion of my degrees, I had the chance to work on a range of different environments and countries which contributed to the consolidation of my knowledge on remedial conservation skills and preventive conservation. Since 2013 I have been the Conservator of the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford. It is with great satisfaction that I am now able to work on these two celebrated Bradford institutions.

With my expertise on paper and photographs conservation I am responsible for ensuring the long-term care of the Calvin Wells Archive is considered at all times – from suitable handling and packing to appropriate storage conditions. I will be performing conservation treatments on the archive to increase their stability and lifespan. I am delighted to being able to contribute towards its preservation to future generations of researchers and enthusiasts.

I am passionate about photography and printing techniques. During my free time I enjoy reading and experimenting with traditional printing.”

Preserving the New Atlantis

We have just finished a project to improve the condition of the New Atlantis Foundation Archive, thanks to a very welcome donation of £5000 earlier this year. This Archive came to us in a damp state, in poor quality boxes and folders which were damaging their contents. We have been able to dry it out somewhat since but it was still very vulnerable.

The funding was used to purchase archival quality boxes, folders, tissue and other materials. The Special Collections Assistant, John Brooker, carried out the laborious work of re-boxing, replacing folders, removing rusty pins, staples and adhesive tape, and crafting individual containers for less straightforward items such as pipes, hats and artworks.  Photograph albums were interleaved with tissue.

A basic list of the contents of the Archive should be available later this year, though far more work is required to bring out the connections and richness of this complex Archive. It tells the fascinating story of Dmitrije Mitrinovic, the circle that grew up around him, their ideas, their everyday lives, and how they connected with the intelligentsia, artists and writers of their day.  We believe it will be a key resource for scholars researching inter-war ideas and politics.

Sad Archive

From this …

Happy Archive

… To this

Mitrinovic News 1

“Dimitrije Mitrinovic”: a biography / by Andrew Rigby.

A new(ish) book relating to one of the most fascinating individuals whose archives are represented in Special Collections at Bradford.

In the early years of the First World War, a young Serb, Dimitrije Mitrinovic, appeared in the intellectual and artistic circles of London, arguing that the way to a harmonious world lay through the creation of a “world consciousness” in the minds of individuals. He launched a welter of groups, movements and other initiatives to promote and embody his vision of the world as an organic whole. Andrew Rigby describes in this book the substance of Mitrinovic’s vision and the fascinating story of efforts to translate it into practice.

Available from booksellers, price £9.99 (ISBN 01850723346) or direct from the publishers Sessions of York.

Other links: Mitrinovic Archive, New Atlantis Foundation (set up after Mitrinovic’s death to promote his ideas).

Keeping Yorkshire’s heritage afloat

Rather belated notice of a recent success. The Yorkshire Rapid Response Network will receive £50K funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The RRN is a joint venture between 30 Yorkshire heritage organisations, including Special Collections at Bradford, for self-help and training in dealing with disasters (such as the floods which devastated parts of South Yorkshire in 2007). Here’s a press release with more detail.