Zakynthos, Greece

Workshop for Interventive and Preventive Conservation of Paper

Period: Middle Ages & Modern
Code: IPCP 24
Session 1: 26 May - 1 June, 2024
Session 2: 2 - 8 June, 2024
Session 3: 26 May - 8 June, 2024
Academic credits available: 3/6
Cost starting from: 1499 EUR/ approx. 1499 USD

   The Project and the Course General Information      

General Information       

Project type: Workshop on Conservation

Workshop started: 2017

About the project and the workshop: The workshop enables participants to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in paper conservation. Documentation and scientific analysis (optical microscopy & UV, IR analysis) will also be presented. The participants will document original materials and work on replicas. Visit the Ecclesiastical Museum, Archive and Library of Zakynthos. a. Optional tours to the top beaches of the island nd the world-famous Shipwreck (Navagio) beach.

Artifacts & monuments in the project's focus: replicas and objects from ecclesiastical and folklore museums in Greece

Project venue & accommodationIonian University - Department of Environment  (I.U). Participants stay in a beachfront hotel in Zakynthos, located 8-10 min, by bus to the Ionian University.

BHF partners in this project   

Academic coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Christos Karydis (Conservator, Ionian University)

Field school coordinators: Dr. Angela Pencheva (Balkan Heritage Foundation & Field School Program Manager) and Assoc. Prof. Christos Karydis (Conservator, Ionian University)      


Dr. Nikolas Sarris - Conservator of paper & archive materials, National Library of Greece

Field school sessions available:

  • One-week field school - 26 May - 1 June, 2024    
  • One-week field school - 2 - 8 June, 2024  (only for advanced students!)   
  • Two-week field school - 26 May - 8 June, 2024     

Application deadlines: until the places are filled or 26 April, 2024

Minimum length of stay: one week   

Minimum age: 18

Number of field school places available: maximum 12

Language: English

Experience required: None   

Special considerations: Note: Citizens of the EU, EEA, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand do not need an entry visa for Greece. Citizens of countries not mentioned above should check in advance whether they will need entry visas for the country. The cost of any visas is not included in the price of the field school! 

Special Requirements:    

  • Good manual dexterity skills and ability to work carry out delicate bench work.
  • The reimbursement payment does not cover insurance. It is necessary to arrange your own insurance before your trip to Greece. All EU citizens can use Greek medical services as long as they can provide evidence of their home-country health insurance with a card, certificate, etc.    
  • The participants should have medical insurance including repatriation. The participants should inform the project staff about any health issues, allergies, and food preferences.    
  • Participants should bring clothes and toiletries suitable for warm and sunny weather (26 -36 C), but should also prepare for rainy, windy and chilly days.    
  • Participants should bring a white standard lab coat needed for the conservation treatments in the labs.    
  • Participants are also expected to prepare for the field school by reading the materials that will be sent by e-mail before the beginning of the project.    
  • Participants will use the tools and equipment available at the labs and are not required to bring any additional equipment apart perhaps for favorite personal tools.   



       The Workshop   


In 2024, the Workshop for Interventive & Preventive Conservation of Paper will again be hosted by the  Ionian University - Department of Environment in Zakynthos island (Greece). It provides a unique opportunity for students and volunteers to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience on the conservation and preservation of organic and inorganic artifacts. Participants will be guided through the history and technology of ecclesiastical, historical and ethnographic papers and consequent stages of their study, conservation and documentation. Both the theoretical and practical courses will take place at the labs of the Division Conservation of Antiquities & Works of Art at the Ionian University. During the project weeks, participants will work with archival materials. The project includes three module: practical work in the documentation and restoration paper; lectures, training, study visits and excursions to the General Archives of Zakynthos.

Refer to the Course description and Workshop agenda below.   


By the end of the workshop the participants will:

  • be able to develop basic practical skills (depending on participant's initial level of qualification) in paper conservation treatments
  • become acquainted with the basic methods of all the required documentation for the conservation of paper using graphic software, as well as photo documentation
  • learn about the forms, types, traditions and technology of manufacture of paper
  • get acquainted with different case studies for preventive conservation of organic and inorganic materials.
  • meet professionals working in the areas of conservation in Greece. 


All participants will receive:


  • Reading materials (in PDF version by e-mail);   
  • Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours, educational modules, and sites visited;   
  • BHFS T-shirt.   


NB! Students who need to prepare conservation reports and presentations for their universities can receive additional instruction and assistance. Students applying for academic credit hours must take an exam.   

The Team

Academic coordinator:    

  • Assoc. Prof. Christos Karydis (Conservator, Ionian University)

Field school coordinators:    

  • Dr Angela Pencheva (Balkan Heritage Foundation & Field School Program Manager) 


  • Dr Nikolas Sarris - Conservator of paper & archive materials, National Library of Greece

 The Program   


The course consists of one educative module on the subject in their focus: PAPER. It consists of approx. 33 hours of lectures, workshops and study visits to significant sites on the island of Zakynthos.

  • Introduction to Chemistry for Conservators
  • History of Paper Making   
  • History of Bookmaking & Bookbinding
  • Documentation & Causes of Deterioration of Paper
  • Documentation Techniques of Paper Objects   
  • Identification of Damages of Paper Objects 
  • Preventive Conservation & Handling of Paper Objects and Books: Case studies St. Catherine of Sinai and Iraq project
  • Introduction to First Aid Treatments of Paper Artifacts
  • Introduction to Paper Conservation Treatments
  • Paper Conservation Techniques   
  • Housing and Storage of Paper and Books. Folders and Boxmaking
  • Visit to the Historic Public Library and the General Archives of Zakynthos   


The Agenda


26 May, 2024

Arrival and check-in by 7.30 pm.

Session 1 & 3

27 - 30 May, 2024

Presentation of the Division Conservation of Antiquities & Works of Art, Balkan Heritage Field School, the project and the participants. Ice-breakers and orientation. LECTURES, WORKSHOPS and Zakynthos Downtown Tour.   

Lecture 1: History and the making of paper

Lecture 2: Documentation & causes of deterioration of paper  

Lecture 3: Introduction to preventive conservation of paper artefacts   

Lecture 4: Introduction to paper conservation treatments    

Workshop 1: Documentation techniques of paper objects   

Workshop 2: Handling of paper artefacts   

Workshop 3: Introduction to first aid treatments of paper artefacts.

Workshop 4: Paper conservation techniques: Paper repairs    

Workshop 5: Paper conservation techniques: Advanced paper repairs   

Workshop 6: Paper conservation techniques: Humidification and flattening   

Workshop 7: Housing and storage of paper artefacts

31 May, 2024

Visit to the Ecclesiastical Museum of the Holy Monastery of St. Dionysios.

1 June, 2024

Breakfast & Departure

Session 1

2 June, 2024

Arrival and check-in by 7.30 pm (Session 2)   

Day off (Session 3)

3 - 6 June, 2024

Lecture 1: Introduction to wet cleaning of paper artefacts     

Workshop 1: Wet cleaning techniques: Float, blotter and immersion washing   

Workshop 2: Paper deacidification   

Workshop 3: Stain removal and wet cleaning techniques with suction tables    

Workshop 4: Paper sizing    

Workshop 5: Adhesive tape removal   

Workshop 6: Advanced paper repair techniques   

Workshop 7: Object treatment exercises   

Workshop 8: Insect disinfestation of books and paper artefacts   

Workshop 9: Display and mounting of books and paper artifacts   

Workshop 10: Display and mounting of books and paper artifacts

7 June, 2024

Visit to the Historic Public Library of Zakynthos

8 June, 2024

Breakfast & Departure

Session 2 & 3


   Reading Background



  • AIC -The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works . 1994. Paper Conservation Catalogue - Book and Paper Group. 9th edition
  • Bausi, A., Witakowski, W., Sokolinski, E., Borbone, P. G., Briquel-Chatonnet, F., Buzi, P., Gippert, J., Macé, C., Maniaci, M., Melissakis, Z., Parodi, L. E., & Studies, C. O. M. 2015. Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies: An Introduction ., Chapter 5 (Sarris, N. et al): pp.539-581
  • Clarkson, C. 1978. The conservation of early books in codex form: A personal approach: Part I. The Paper Conservator , 3(1), 33–50.
  • Hamburg, D. 1992. Library and Archival Collections. Pp.52-63 in Caring For Your Collections (H. Whelchel, ed.). New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
  • Holden, M. 1992. A Programmatic Approach, Archives Preservation Update. American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Book and Paper Group Annual, vol. 11:159-162.
  • Hunter, D. 1978. Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft, 3rd ed. New York, NY: Dover Publications
  • Jones, M. 1978. Traditional repair of archival documents. In The Paper Conservator (Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 9–17).
  • Szirmai, J. A . 1999. The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Wilsted, T. and W. Nolte. 1991. Managing Archival and Manuscript Repositories. Chicago, IL: The Society of American Archivists


Travel & Accommodation & Practicalities



How to get there?   

The Greek island of Zakynthos or Zante in the Ionian Sea is a very popular summer destination in Europe. The island is located less than 10 min away from the coast of the Peloponnese. The island has one airport: Zakynthos International Airport which connects it with numerous Greek (Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, etc) and international airports and two harbors. The main harbor is located in the town of Zakynthos - from there start all ferries to the neighboring islands and to the port of Kyllini in mainland Greece. Normally tourists arrive by car or by bus to Zakynthos through Kyllini. For more information, please check the timetable of Levante Ferries.    

Greece is a member of the Schengen Agreement.


Accommodation & Meals      


Accommodation*: In the family-run Yria Hotel near the historical center of the town of Zakynthos (Zante), in comfortable rooms with two to four beds (bathrooms with shower and WC, TV, 24-hour room service, lockers, hair dryers, LAN plugin connection, a/c and a fridge). Laundry service and free Wi-Fi are available at the hotel. Participants are not expected to bring any additional equipment, bedclothes, or towels. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional 220 EUR per week. Staying an extra day at the hotel costs 65 EUR (per night per person).      

*Subject to change. May be substituted with similar level accommodation.

Meals: The reimbursement payment covers only breakfast. Lunches and dinners are not included. The prices of the inexpensive and mid-ranged restaurants vary between 10 - 20 Euros for a three-course menu.          


Free Time & Trips   


Free time: Zakynthos offers a lot of opportunities for sports and entertainment. Possible leisure activities during the siesta and days off are swimming, sunbathing, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, and sailing. 

Participants can visit the most famous landmark of the island Navagio beach, the numerous natural "Blue Caves", cut into cliffs around Cape Skinari, the mountain village Keri is located in the far south of the island.    


Technicalities & Practicalities   


Insurance: The reimbursement payment does not cover insurance. It is mandatory to arrange your own health insurance before your trip to Greece. The insurance must cover as a minimum the following risks: medical treatment in case of an accident or disease, as well as costs related to evacuation and repatriation. All EU citizens can use Greek medical services as long as they can provide evidence of their home-country health insurance with a card/certificate, etc.

Weather: South-European (Transitional Mediterranean to Continental) climate with hot summers (30-40° C) dominates in the region. Rainy and chillier days in this season are not uncommon.

What to bring?

  • A pair of comfortable shoes for walking/hiking;
  • Wide brim hat;   
  • Small backpack (for your water bottle, snacks, camera, etc.)   
  • Lab coat
  • Medication - only prescription medicines you may need. It is not necessary to bring non-prescription medicine from your country since you can buy all basic non-prescription drugs in Greece.
  •  A converter to EU type electricity wall-plug if needed.
  • A good attitude for work, fun, study and discoveries.   


NB! All the tools and materials needed for the workshops will be provided by the organizers!  


The Cost

BHFS project reimbursement payment covers: Educational and fieldwork activities, half-board accommodation (hotel + breakfast each day), tools, materials, project handbook or readings, issue of Certificate of Attendance, administrative costs, travel related to the fieldwork and the excursions included in the field school program plus relevant entrance fees.

BHFS project reimbursement payment does not include: travel costs to and from the project venue or related to activities not included in the field school program; medical products and services and any expenses related to medical quarantine (food delivery, accommodation, etc.).


The costs in USD are approximate. Please check the current exchange rates!


Early Bird Cost - until March 31, 2024:


Early Bird cost for a one-week project session is 1499 EUR/ approx. 1499 USD   

Early Bird cost for a two-week project session is 2999 EUR/ approx. 2999 USD


Regular Cost - after March 31, 2024:      


The Regular cost of a one-week project session is 1599 EUR/ approx. 1599 USD 

The Regular cost for a two-week project session is 3099 EUR/ approx. 3099 USD


All students registered for BHFS season 2020 should contact BHFS Admissions office at b[email protected] for further information about the conditions of their participation in season 2024. 

Reimbursement Transfer Options:

- Bank transfer
- Online transfers via the Balkan Heritage virtual POS Terminal. VISA, MASTERCARD & MAESTRO cards are accepted.      
Wise money transfer

For further information contact Admissions Office at: [email protected]!

Discounts off the regular cost:

* 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Participation in more than one BHFS project in 2024 (discount applies to the second, third, etc. project).
  2. Membership in the Archaeological Institute of America.

* 10% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Participation in any BHFS project/s in the past.

* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people who participate together in one BHFS project in 2024). The discount is valid for each participant.

* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost is available for:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people, who participate in more than one BHFS project in 2024 (the discount is valid for each participant).
  2. BHFS alumni, who participate in more than one BHFS project in 2024. (discount applies to the second, third, etc. project).
  3. BHFS alumni who attended a full project in the past and return to the same project.


For more information about scholarships, low-cost flights, hotels, etc. please feel free to contact us or look at our recommended links.


Academic credits

New Bulgarian University grants 3/6 ECTS credits to students for attending the one/two week sessions. Transcripts of Records (ToR) are available upon request for an additional tuition fee of 200/400 EUR for EU students and 300/600 EUR for Non-EU students.

For details: Regulations for obtaining Transcripts of Records.   

Participants in the field school who do not need academic credit units are not expected to pay for them.



Zakynthos, Greece

Workshop for Interventive and Preventive Conservation of Paper

Apply now