Heritage Volunteers at Pusey House Library in Oxford

Caroline Bendix training the heritage volunteers in Pusey House Library.

A volunteer team from Wantage DFAS has begun work on an exciting new project to conserve the unique pamphlet collections stored in the Ursell Room at Pusey House.

NADFAS promotes the celebration and conservation of heritage. Small groups of specially trained volunteers repair books in libraries across the U.K. on collections of considerable national importance from small antiquarian collections in historic houses, churches, and museums to huge ancient libraries such as York Minster and Lambeth Palace.

Volunteers are given initial training (photo above) by leading independent library conservator Caroline Bendix, who also works for the National Trust, English Heritage and the British Library. She provides the group with ongoing training, as well as an annual overview of its progress.

Where NADFAS has served libraries in this way, the work of the volunteers has been greatly appreciated by host libraries. Host libraries (such as Pusey House) undertake to provide a suitable working environment for the volunteers, and to fund training and materials needed by the group. The volunteers in turn, who become increasingly skilled, provide their time and commitment free of charge.

If you are responsible for a library, or a collection within a library in the Wyvern Area which would benefit from a similar conservation project, contact Susan Bye at heritage@nadfaswyvernarea.org.uk, or for those further afield contact the national coordinator at volunteering@nadfas.org.uk.

Librarian's PS: Pusey House is very grateful to our NADFAS volunteers for all their hard work and enthusiasm, and also to the Aurelius Trust whose generous grant has enabled us to fund training sessions and buy a full set of professional conservation equipment for use by the team.