The Trigge Library of St Wulfram’s Church

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Grant Scheme

Collections Care Stimulus Fund

Award Year


Grant Sum Awarded


Icon Accredited Conservator

Bridget Mitchell ACR


Project outline

The funded work was for the conservation of three sixteenth-century books from the Trigge Library. The Library is situated in a parvise room above the south porch of St Wulfram’s Church and it was founded in 1598. It contains some 350 pre-Victorian items. Conservation work on two of the items (including one with printer’s waste which was a broadsheet of Latin verses from Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester’s funeral oration of 1588, of which only one other copy exists) has been completed and the third is still in progress.

Extent of paper repairs to textblock prior to trimming

What were the conservation or display issues relating to the objects?
All three books had active furniture beetle addressed by two freezing treatments at Harwell Restoration Services. In addition, there was extensive surface dirt and mould residues, together with earlier paper repairs that were failing. Throughout the textblocks, interconnecting insect trails, some close to the gutter, were causing problems when the books were opened. The calfskin bindings had extensive insect holes, joint splits, bumped corners and loss to the boards edges where former chain attachments were anchored.

How was the grant used to address these challenges?
The Icon grant of £1250 has been supplemented by a grant of £500 from the Friends of St Wulfram’s Church, and the balance has been supplied from the church’s own Trigge Library Fund which is derived from visitor donations.  Without Icon’s grant funding, it is likely that only one item could have been conserved.

Close-up of the fragile and extensive insect holes in the printers’ waste, close to the gutter


Who was involved in the project and what were the conservation treatments that were applied?

The conservation work has been undertaken by Library and Archive Conservator, Bridget Warrington ACR. Surface-cleaning and extensive paper repairs to the textblocks was carried out and the bindings were consolidated using toned Japanese repair paper. The larger of the three books also required a bookshoe to support the textblock when re-shelved. Another requires new wooden boards which are currently stabilising before shaping.

The printed Latin verse from the funeral of Robert Dudley, used as printers’ waste at the back of one of the books


What are the outcomes of the project?
Two books have been fully conserved and occasionally will be placed on exhibition in a small display unit on the ground floor of the south aisle to that they are more fully accessible to visitors. Work on the third book will be completed this summer.

The work will showcase the importance of conservation work in the Trigge Library and this will be highlighted in items in the Parish Magazine, on the church website and Facebook pages and in the local newspaper, The Grantham Journal. In turn, we hope this will lead to more visitors to our Grade 1 listed and Five Star (Simon Jenkins) church. This in turn should increase revenues and will add to the Trigge Library Conservation reserve allowing further items to be treated. More importantly, the Icon grant has already allowed us to raise other funding from the Friends of St Wulfram’s Church. ChurchCare is aware of our various efforts and we are collaborating with them to address other needs including new display cabinets and additional conservation work.

In a normal year we would expect over 800 visitors to the library. This year, with these conserved items on display, we would like to exceed 1,000 visitors and will hope to appeal for further funding for additional conservation work.

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