About the Conservation Summer School Scholarship

In remembrance of Dr Nicholas Hadgraft, a dear friend of Conservation By Design Limited we decided to offer an annual "Nicholas Hadgraft Scholarship". The scholarship is an award of £1,500 towards the cost of attending the Montefiascone Book Conservation Summer School held each year in the Medieval Hill Town of Montefiascone.

Conservation By Design managing director, Dirk Hendrickx, said: "The Nicholas Hadgraft Memorial Scholarship is now so highly regarded within the conservation sector that we receive interest from people all over the globe, who are keen to grasp this wonderful opportunity. Every year we are astounded by the quality of the applications we receive."

"The summer school presents a unique opportunity for its delegates to form new friends, share knowledge and a love of precious books and bookbinding in a stunning setting. With such a prestigious prize on offer, were sure well encourage students, conservators and book binders to enter.

Nicholas was a regular tutor at Montefiascone from its beginnings and took great pleasure imparting his knowledge and sharing his love of books and bookbinding with like minded individuals.

The courses coincide with the towns wine festival which offers a wonderful atmosphere for social interaction alongside study and gaining new skills. We hope the scholarship is a fitting tribute and allows the worthy recipient to share what Nicholas enjoyed so much about Montefiascone.

Conservation By Design Reveals 2017 Scholarship Winner

Lucilla Ronai


Conservation By Design Limited (CXD) has announced that Lucilla Ronai, from Australia, a paper conservator working at the Australian National Maritime Museum, is the lucky recipient of this year's sought after Nicholas Hadgraft Memorial Scholarship. The renowned scholarship, first awarded in 2005, offers one conservator each year the opportunity to learn more about unique bookbinding techniques from a host of well known and highly regarded tutors. The judging panel, made up of Cheryl Porter, Jim Bloxham, Alan Farrant and CXD's Stuart Welch, had quite a task to carefully consider this year's applications from the many outstanding candidates. The panel felt Nicholas Hadgraft would have approved of their unanimous winning choice.

Lucilla, who describes herself as an "emerging conservation professional", will receive £1500 to put towards attending three of the Montefiascone Summer School courses in Italy. Feeling there is limited access to specialist teachers and a lack of formal book conservation training in Australia, Lucilla believes this is her opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of historical structures and methods of book construction. Following the course she is keen to share her enriched skill and understanding with her fellow conservation professionals in Australia, realise her dream of completing further formal overseas training in her steps towards pursuing a career in book conservation.

Lucilla commented; "I am incredibly honoured to receive this coveted scholarship and wish to thank Conservation by Design for providing such an opportunity to conservators around the world each year. I am delighted that it will enable me to attend the Montefiascone Book Conservation Summer School in Italy. It is hard for me to put into words how excited I am to be able to have the Montefiascone experience; weeks of learning about fascinating book structures, gaining invaluable knowledge, skills and bookbinding techniques from world class instructors whilst surrounded by a medieval town! It is without a doubt the opportunity of a lifetime."

Dirk Hendrickx, CXD's Managing Director, delivered the judges news to Lucilla by telephone shortly after she responded to a 'middle of the night text' in Australia. "CXD are proud that the scholarship is so highly regarded within the conservation sector. This year we recorded the highest amount of applicants to date and the judges were overwhelmed by the consistent quality and professionalism shown in the majority. To assist with the decision making, the judges focused on elements that made candidates truly stand out from the crowd.

"For the fifth year running, we decided to award a runner-up prize. Maria Fernanda Martinez Rocha, based in Mexico, teaches workshops on Conservation of Bibliographic Material, and Paper Conservation at the National School of Conservation Restoration and Museology and also works at the private workshop of Martha Romero and Luis Enríquez as a book conservator."


Conservation By Design Reveals 2016 Scholarship Winner

Conservation By Design Limited (CXD) has announced that Samuel Foley, from the UK, a final year student studying MA in Conservation, specialising in Books and Archive Materials at Camberwell College of Arts, is the lucky recipient of this years coveted Nicholas Hadgraft Memorial Scholarship. The renowned scholarship, first awarded in 2005, offers one conservator each year the opportunity to learn more about unique bookbinding techniques from a host of well known and highly regarded tutors. The judging panel, this year made up of Cheryl Porter, Jim Bloxham, Alan Farrant and CXDs Caroline Checkley-Scott felt that Nicholas Hadgraft would have approved wholeheartedly with their unanimous choice.

Sam, will receive £1500 to put towards attending all the courses offered at the Montefiascone Summer School in Italy. Feeling that the timing is perfect for his professional development, Sam is keen to learn as much as possible to develop skills and knowledge so he can offer those to a future employer within the conservation field. He commented; "I feel extremely lucky to be chosen, it was very unexpected and caught me off guard. It is a huge honour that the panel felt I was deserving of such a generous prize. Winning the scholarship means a tremendous amount not just to me professionally, but also personally. I am lucky enough to love what I do and to be given the chance to pursue that further through the summer school is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is amazing that my work has been recognised and the award gives me the impetus to drive forward, learn and achieve more."

Dirk Hendrickx, CXDs Managing Director, delivered the news to Sam by telephone shortly after the judges had made their decision. "It is encouraging that year after year we are attracting outstanding applicants, an indication, perhaps, that our heritage will continue to remain in good hands. We are proud that the scholarship is so highly regarded within the conservation sector, this year taking applications from India, Egypt, USA, Greece, Estonia, Malta, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, to name just a few, reinforces this.

"For the forth year running, we have decided to award a runner-up prize. Marco Fagiolo, who is a restorer of library materials, paper and parchment and is based in Rome, Marco will receive £1000 towards attending the summer school. In addition to this, a special mention must go to Lisa Camilleri, a freelance book conservator in Malta, who also impressed the judges and has been offered the course of her choice free of charge.


Conservation By Design Reveals 2015 Scholarship Winner

Conservation By Design (CXD) is delighted to announce that the lucky recipient of this year's coveted Nicholas Hadgraft Memorial Scholarship is Xiaoping Cai. Originally from China, Xiaoping is a full-time student studying for a MA in conservation at Camberwell College of Arts at the University of the Arts London.

Now in its 11th year, the scholarship offers one conservator each year the opportunity to learn more about unique bookbinding techniques from a host of well known and highly regarded tutors at the acclaimed Montefiascone Book Conservation Summer School in Italy.

Xiaoping, who also works as an intern for the conservation department of UCL's Science Library and the V&A Book conservation department too, intends to use her scholarship to attend all four courses – Recreating the Medieval Palette by Cheryl Porter; Italian Stiff-Board Vellum Binding with Slotted Spine run by tutors Scott W. Devine and Tonia Grafakos; The Rylands Fountainebleau Aldine by course tutors Caroline Checkley-Scott, Stefania Signorello and Julianne Simpson and An Early Islamic Binding by course tutors Kristine Rose and Alison Ohta.

On hearing the news Xiaoping said, "I really appreciate your generosity in providing such a wonderful opportunity each year. It was a breathtaking moment for me when I received the call from CXD's Managing Director Dirk Hendrickx. My place is confirmed and I feel so excited about the summer school in Montefiascone. This scholarship totally aligns with my original plan to further my study in book conservation in London. I believed that only by tracing to the source, I could truly understand the history and techniques of western bookbinding and book conservation. And now this belief is even stronger! I consider this program as an important step in my career development."

Xiaoping will receive £1,500 towards the cost of attending the Summer School, which takes place over four weeks in July and August in the medieval town of Montefiascone, Italy.

Dirk Hendrickx, added. "It is always such a pleasure to join the panel of judges as they study the detail of many worthy scholarship applications. It is encouraging to see the continued rise in international interest, confirming that this scholarship is highly regarded within the conservation sector both here in the UK and overseas. With this in mind for the third year running the judges, were unanimous in their decision to award a runner-up prize. Lisa Handke, an undergraduate at the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hildesheim, Germany, studies 'Preventive Conservation of Books and Paper will receive £1000 towards attendance costs."

The scholarship is offered in memory of Dr Nicholas Hadgraft, a good friend of Conservation By Design who died tragically in 2004. Nicholas was a fellow of the University of the Arts London and a key collaborator on the "Squelch Drying" technique devised by Stuart Welch (the founder of CXD), the most effective way to date of drying valuable rare books.



For further information on the Nicholas Hadgraft Memorial Scholarship, contact Conservation By Design on 01234 846 300


Conservation By Design Reveals 2014 Scholarship Winner

Julie Tyrlik


Elizabeth Ralph



Conservation By Design (CXD) has announced that Julie Tyrlik, a second year student from the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris, France, is the lucky recipient of this years coveted Nicholas Hadgraft Memorial Scholarship.

The renowned scholarship, which is now in its 10th year, offers one conservator each year the opportunity to learn more about unique bookbinding techniques from a host of well known and highly regarded tutors at the acclaimed Montefiascone Book Conservation Summer School in Italy.

Julie, who has previously interned at Villa Medicis in Rome under the tuition of Paolo Dotti, intends to use her scholarship to attend three of the courses - Semi-limp Parchment Binding styles with Anne Hillam, 12th Century English Limp Tawed Skin Binding with Jim Bloxham and Shaun Thompson, and Embroidered Turkish Binding with Kristine Rose and Gaia Petrella.

She commented: "I am conscious that having knowledge of bookbinding structures can be important for book conservation, and that practice is the best way to develop a better understanding of them.

"I am really interested by the approach the Summer School offers by allowing us to recreate some structures. Everything we do will be based on an attentive observation. This will help me to learn the skills used by ancient bookbinders and provide a better appreciation of the technics."

Julie will receive £1,500 towards the cost of attending the Summer School, which takes place over four weeks in July and August in the medieval town of Montefiascone, Italy.

Conservation By Designs Dirk Hendrickx, added: "Every year we continue to be astounded by the quality of the applications we receive, and this year has been no exception. The scholarship is now so highly regarded within the conservation sector that we are receiving interest from all over the globe.

"In fact, the entries this year were so impressive that, for the second year running, we have decided to award a runner-up prize too. Elizabeth Ralph, a trainee book conservator from Cornwall, demonstrated considerable skill and passion for her craft, so we are delighted to invite her to attend her preferred course at the summer school."

The scholarship is offered in memory of Dr Nicholas Hadgraft, a good friend of Conservation By Design who died tragically in 2004. Nicholas was a fellow of the University of the Arts London and a key collaborator on the "Squelch Drying" technique devised by Stuart Welch (the founder of CXD), the most effective way to date of drying valuable rare books.



For further information on the Nicholas Hadgraft Memorial Scholarship, contact Conservation By Design on 01234 846 300


Previous Winners

2013 Winner

Élodie Lévêque, a book and manuscript conservator from Montpellier, France

Élodie Lévêque

Élodie Lévêque, a book and manuscript conservator from Montpellier, France




Carina Cruz Fuentes

Runner up, Carina Cruz Fuentes, Book and Photography Conservator from Mexico.
More information

2012 Winner

Shaun Thompson, Bookbinder at Cambridge University Library

Shaun Thompson

Bookbinder at Cambridge University Library from of Bury St Edmunds, UK

2011 Winner

Bohuslava Ticha, Book and paper conservator from the Czech Republic

Bohuslava Ticha

Book and paper conservator from the Czech Republic
More information

2010 Winner

Rachel Sawicki, book conservation intern at The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin

Rachel Sawicki

Book conservation intern at The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin
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2009 Winner

Louise Robertson, a paper conservator at The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland

Louise Robertson,

Paper conservator at The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland
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2008 Winner

E. Betul Cakirca, a paper conservator at Istanbul Muftulugu, Seri Siciller and Mesihat Archive in Turkey

E. Betul Cakirca

Paper conservator at Istanbul Muftulugu, Seri Siciller and Mesihat Archive in Turkey.
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2007 Winner

2007 Scholarship winner

Alexandrea Cattanea,

UK based Conservator.
Click here to read Alexandrea Cattaneas review of the Montefiascone Summer School.
Or, click here for more information on the course.

2006 Winner

Rachel Lloyd, UK 2006 Scholarship Winner

Rachel Lloyd,

UK based Conservator.
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2005 Winner

Marieka Kaye, USA based Conservator

Marieka Kaye,

USA based Conservator.
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