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I am delighted to be able to provide a reference to Isabelle Egan in support of her work as conservator. As curator of antiquarian mapping at the British Library and responsible for the conservation programme of national map collection, I worked regularly and closely with Isabelle in identifying problems and producing solutions to damaged, often large paper items.

 

I recall two occasions in particular where Isabelle found solutions to collection problems. The first was in her treatment and repair of a large 18th century folding map of London that had been backed

on linen and torn along the folds. After restoring the map Isabelle had to reassemble the map in order for it to be folded. She researched methods in which 18th century maps were folded and

produced a mock-up in order that the gaps between the map panels were of sufficient width to

allow the map to fold properly.

Another occasion was where Isabelle extensively restored a damaged, torn and varnished Russian school wall map of 1902 in order for it to be displayed in the British Library’s major 2010 exhibition ‘Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art.’ After the exhibition this large map needed to be rolled and stored, for which Isabelle researched and designed an ingenious cylindrical container.

Isabelle always showed great sensitivity to the integrity of historical works on paper, whilst recognising their continuing circumstances of use in a Library context. Moreover she was a joy to work with and I am pleased to recommend her.

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