Call for Papers: Conservation of Barkcloth Material

Friday 7th December 2018
Lady Lisa Sainsbury Lecture Theatre, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, UK
Situating Pacific Barkcloth in Time and Place project, Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History (CTCTAH), University of Glasgow; Institute of Conservation UK Ethnography Group; and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew


The Situating Pacific Barkcloth in Time and Place project was launched in 2016 at CTCTAH. The project brought together scientific, historical and conservation researchers from CTCTAH, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, to investigate the material nature of Polynesian barkcloth collections from The Hunterian Museum (University of Glasgow) and the Economic Botany Collection (Kew). The role of conservation in the project was to review and develop technical methods for conserving barkcloth and to stabilise the objects as well as improve their storage. The conservation programme aimed to facilitate visual and physical access for people with strong cultural and academic interest in the objects. The symposium will share some of the project’s findings and will mark the end of the project’s conservation programme by creating a platform for conservators and those non-conservation professionals with interest in the subject to share and discuss the joys and challenges of working with barkcloth.


The Glasgow Barkcloth project and the ICON Ethnography Group invite submissions for a one-day symposium on the conservation of barkcloth material from any part of the world.

We welcome papers on all aspects, including:

  • Case studies of interventive conservation, preventive care, storage, transport and display of barkcloth, or of objects made of beaten inner-bark/bast-fibre materials.
  • The material science of dyes, pigments, various bast-fibres and other materials used for barkcloth production.
  • Collaborative working among museums, conservators, artists and community.

Presenters are invited to give either a presentation (10 or 20 mins) or a poster and will contribute to the symposium’s PDF post-print.

Please submit your abstract (max. 250 words), together with your contact details, professional/academic affiliation and whether you are offering a presentation or a poster, to by Friday 14 September 2018. Contributions by students and emerging professionals are warmly welcomed.

The prospective presenters will be notified by Friday 21 September 2018.


Should you wish to discuss your paper please do not hesitate to contact Misa Tamura. We look forward to hearing from you.

Frances Lennard, Principal Investigator (Glasgow)
Misa Tamura, Former Research Conservator and affiliate (Glasgow)
Charlotte Ridley, Chair of the ICON Ethnography Group
Mark Nesbitt, Research Leader, Economic Botany (Kew)