Nicholas Hadgraft

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<a href="images/n.hadgraft.jpg"><img src="images/n.hadgraft_thumb.jpg" alt="Nick Hadgraft on the summit of Mount Sinai, Sunday, May 21, 2000" title="Nick Hadgraft on the summit of Mount Sinai, Sunday, May 21, 2000" /></a> <div class="footnote">Nick Hadgraft on the summit of Mount Sinai, Sunday, May 21, 2000</div> <h2>Dr Nicholas Hadgraft, 1955-2004</h2> The sudden, unexpected and all too early death of Nick Hadgraft at the age of 49 has deprived the world of book conservation of one of its most effective, friendly and hard-working proponents. His good-nature, wide interests, enthusiasm and professional dedication made working with him a pleasure. His modesty was such that it was easy to overlook the extent of his contribution, but in his absence it is all too clear how much he contributed to everything he took part in. In particular, his death will have a far-reaching effect on the St Catherine Library Conservation Project. He first travelled to the monastery in 1999, when the current project was in its infancy and, in addition to a whole range of other activities, worked extensively on the development of the stainless steel box for the protection of the manuscripts. He had worked on all the various box types that were discussed and tested and was an essential part of the team that developed the final design, acting in particular as the contact between the various individuals and companies involved. His other major contribution was in helping me to develop the condition assessment methodology, and he was a member of the first survey team in November 2001, during which our survey forms were first put to the test. <br /> <br /> I first met Nick in 1984, when he was appointed as Conservation Assistant to the conservation project in the Parker Library in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, on which we worked together for five years. Before that he had worked as a curator with the Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue Project at the British Library, and came to conservation as a fully qualified librarian. In 1989, he became, with Nancy Bell, one of the first two students to train with Chris Clarkson at the then newly-established course at West Dean College. He set up and ran the workshop that was at the centre of the Cambridge Colleges Library Conservation Consortium. In 1998, the year in which he gained his Ph.D from the University of London with his thesis Fifteenth Century Book Structures, he made the choice to set up on his own, at his house in Great Shelford, and had only recently finished work on a new, extended workshop in which his skills seemed to be blossoming as he gained more and more experience, working in particular with Cheryl Porter on medieval manuscript pigments, and, above all, carrying out excellent work on parchment. <br /> <br /> Our loss is not just professional. He was one of the nicest and easiest people to work with, and always generous with his time, knowledge and hospitality. We developed an happy personal as well as working relationship at Corpus, and what I shall miss most are the long, invaluable talks we often had about ideas and techniques, in which we were able to sort out what made sense from what didnâ??t, helped along with food and drink, and endlessly interrupted by his dogs and laughter. His death will leave a huge gap in the lives of his many friends; a gap it will be impossible to fill. <br /> <br /> Nicholas Pickwoad <br /> 11 July 2004


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