GUYIn my former job as occupational therapist I took care of people, now I am taking care of cultural heritage. My second career took off in 1987 when I finished my studies as conservator-restorer at the HICOREB (Higher Institute for the Conservation and Restoration of the Book) in Gent (Belgium). It was a good choice and it is still a fountain of happiness.

I am running my own consultancy agency and workshop and I am involved in all aspects of preventive and remedial conservation. My specialty is everything related to paper and book, but after obtaining my Masters diploma in Preventive Conservation at Northumbria University in Newcastle (UK) I have extended my workfield to all moveable cultural heritage.

My activities vary from damage assessments of collections to surveys of storage rooms and buildings, resulting in recommendations for renovation, furnishing or management. I am also involved in training and education programs for people involved with cultural heritage, as well curators as staff, who want to be better prepared for the challenges posed by cultural heritage management and care.

As teacher in preventive conservation I helped develop the course of “Cultural Heritage Staff Member” and teaches at the Library Schools in Ghent and Louvain (Belgium). As guest-professor at the Free University of Brussels I share my experience with an enthousiastic young generation of students who are aiming to become our future archivists.

I am also involved in international projects as the care for the Manuscript Library of the St.-Catherine Monastery in the Sinai desert in Egypt. And I am teammember to the “Language of Binding” project, a glossary of bookbinding terms in English and Greek initiated by the Ligatus Research Centre in London, which is a pleasure to be part of.

This blog takes me a step further. My goal is to provide all interested people, professionals or not, the chance to grasp and to understand in a clear language what the possibilities, the restrictions and the challenges are of cultural heritage care and management.

I did not invent the hot water, but I know where the hot water tap is and I am prepared to show you how you can use its hot water without burning your hands. Those who are interested in sharing my experiences are welcome to do so.