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Mr Edward Cheese

Conservator of Manuscripts & Printed Books

Edward Cheese is an Accredited Conservator specialising in the care and repair of western manuscripts and printed books. He has an MA in English Literary Studies from the University of Durham, a Postgraduate Diploma in Book Conservation from West Dean College, West Sussex, and is a Queen Elizabeth Craft Scholar. He worked at the Cambridge Colleges’ Conservation Consortium from 2006 until 2014 and led the unit as Conservation Manager for the last three of these years. In 2015 he took up the post of Conservator of Manuscripts and Printed Books at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Edward’s research interests are in the materials and techniques of western book production and the history of bookbinding, c. 1000-1850, a subject in which he lectures at undergraduate level; conservation theory and practice (particularly in relation to objects with a mechanical function); and the history of libraries and collecting. He has served as external examiner in Book Conservation at West Dean College and is a programme advisor for the Book and Paper Conservation courses at City and Guilds of London Art School.

Digital Publications

‘Conserving Beethoven Autographs’, with Monika Stokowiec, online at , December 2020

‘Conserving a moving book’, online at, February 2019

‘Recovering and Re-covering: Conservation of a fifteenth-century bookbinding’, online at, February 2017

‘Conservation, collaboration and COLOUR at the Fitzwilliam Museum’, online at, December 2016.

‘Under the Covers: The conservation and rebinding of Fitzwilliam MS 251’, online at, July 2016.


‘From pelt to painted page: western medieval manuscript parchments’ in S. Panayotova (ed.) The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts.  Harvey Miller/Brepols: London/Turnhout, 2020.  73-94.

‘Restoration and Conservation’, co-authored with Rebecca Honold, in Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts, London and Turnhout: Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2016, 169-71.

Animal origin of 13th-century uterine vellum revealed using non-invasive peptide fingerprinting. / Fiddyment, Sarah; Holsinger, Bruce; Ruzzier, Chiara; Devine, Alexander; Binois, Annelise; Albarella, Umberto; Fischer, Roman; Nichols, Emma; Curtis, Antoinette ; Cheese, Edward ; Teasdale, Matthew David; Checkley-Scott, Caroline; Milner, Steven J.; Rudy, Kathryn M.; Johnson, Eric J. ; Vnoucek, Jiri; Garrison, Mary; McGrory, Simon; G. Bradley, Daniel; Collins, Matthew James.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 112, No. 49, 08.12.2015, p. 15066-15071.


‘Waters Rising’, book review for ICON News 70 (June 2017), 25.

‘Understanding Parchment’, in ICON News 48 (September 2013), 22-23.

‘Risk Management in Collections Care’, in ICON News 41 (July 2012), 25-26.

Papers (unpublished)

‘Beauty and Utility: Conservation of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Consortium.’  ARCLIB Conference, ‘Beautiful Libraries’; July 2014.

‘Testament of the Unknown Craftsman: Book Conservation and Craft History.’  Emmanuel College Special Collections Lecture Series; November 2013.

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