Edward Cheese, ACR, is Conservation Manager for the Cambridge Colleges’ Conservation Consortium, a not-for-profit co-operative organisation of eleven Member Colleges in the University of Cambridge. A specialist in the conservation and binding of medieval manuscripts, rare books and archive materials, Edward oversees the running of a busy, purpose-built workshop at Corpus Christi College, providing high-quality practical conservation work and conservation and preservation advice. QEST supported Edward financially by paying for his second-year tuition fees during his training as a book conservator at West Dean College, West Sussex, allowing him to hone his practical skills whilst developing his interest in the conservation and binding of manuscripts and early printed books. This support was crucial in helping him build up a portfolio of work which resulted in an invitation to join the Consortium at the end of his training to work as the conservator on a project to digitise the world-famous manuscripts in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
Since he joined the Consortium, Edward has worked on a wide range of materials and given lectures, presentations and workshops on book conservation and binding history. He gained professional accreditation in 2011 and became Conservation Manager for the Consortium in 2012. Notable projects have included the conservation of an early thirteenth-century manuscript bound in red velvet for the Old Royal Library of Henry VIII and the conservation and rebinding a copy of the Nuremburg Chronicle, as well as making a presentation binding for Her Majesty the Queen and designing and making a bespoke box for a sixteenth-century ostrich egg cup mounted in silver! Combining scholarly interests in book production and craft history with skilled craftsmanship at the bench, Edward is enthusiastic in his communication of his subject to librarians and students alike and plans to develop his teaching role to pass on essential practical skills to people entering the conservation profession, as well as to contribute insights gained from experience of working on historically significant books to wider scholarly audiences.