ARCLIB 2014 Reviews

Conference Theme: Beautiful Libraries, Cambridge University Faculty of Architecture and History of Art

Organized & Hosted by Susanne Jennings & Tanya Zhimbiev

Delegate’s feedback:

  • “Unifying theme and approach to the event which merged the practical with the more esoteric aspects and big questions around the purpose and aesthetics of libraries- strong subject theme when compared to any other conference”
  • “Very enjoyable and well organised with terrific speakers and an in depth appreciation of the history of the beauty of libraries”
  • “Excellent speakers, felt all the talks linked together well. Key note speaker was brilliant and conservator was fascinating too. Extremely enjoyable as well as informative and interesting”


  • Image: Conference organizers Tanya Zhimbiev & Susanne Jennings – taken by Carla Marchesan

Beautiful libraries begin at home. Below are some pictures of Susanne and Tanya’s beautiful library. Images by Carla Marchesan:


Furniture in the Architecture and History of Art Library at Cambridge University come with impressive pedigrees: meet Pugin’s Desk, which in fact is a marble topped wash-stand designed by Pugin, in Susanne’s words now “a graceful repository of leaflets”, & the table and chairs that belonged to the legendary round reading room in the old British Library when it was located in the British Museum. Imagine the masterpieces that were conceived and written at this table!


Function and Beauty: the spiral staircase from the reading room to the Journal and photocopy room, a comfortable reading corner and beautiful housing for rare books.CambridgeCabinet1). Susanne lovingly admires a new bespoke display cabinet commissioned to PSTA alumno Joachim Tantau for the library Adopt a Book programme. 2). Tanya and Susanne in their beautiful library, where the old card catalogue makes an impressive feature.

Your Committee listens to you! Following our conferences, delegate’s feedback is absolutely vital, as it informs the shape of conferences and events to come, and delegates are always very diligent returning feedback, just as much as the committee is very diligent acting on your cues! In 2013 you indicated you would like to see some event take place on Wednesdays, and not just registration and a pre-dinner talk, to justify to employers the expense and absence from work. And so the idea of inserting a workshop on Wednesday afternoon was born. Susanne & Tanya invited Edward Cheese from Corpus Conservation, for what was originally intended as a workshop but ended up for practical reasons to be an extremely informative and absorbing introduction to the world of book and manuscript preservation. It was most revealing that the same dialogue that takes place in architectural conservation, takes place within the conservation of books (Athens/Venice charter and after anyone?) We did however have our practical workshop with the “Three Commissions” design exercise the following day.

But without further ado, read all about the presentation by Edward Cheese from Greta who was so taken in that considered applying her passion and expertise in textile stitching to books.

CambridgeQueensSay hello / Wave goodbye. The beautiful Queen’s College, Cambridge, accommodating ARCLIB 2015 thanks to Queen’s College Fellow Dr James W.P. Campbell.



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