Kay Soderlund, Director of Preservation Australia, has worked as a conservator for over 35 years. With a Bachelor of Applied Science in the Conservation of Cultural Materials (1982) from the University of Canberra, she has worked at various institutions in NSW including The Australian Museum, the Powerhouse Museum, and the State Library of New South Wales where she headed the project to conserve several journals of the First Fleet. Kay has worked primarily in private practice since 1986, as well as working for some time with Museums Australia (NSW) – firstly as a conservator, then as Director. Preservation Australia is a boutique conservation business that specialises in paper conservation – including large format, works on paper, books, and photographs – as well as preventive conservation consulting, including Disaster Preparedness. It also runs workshops in conservation areas throughout Australia and SE Asia, and has an archival products side of the business – Conservation Resources.
Karen studied fine bookbinding and paper conservation at Guildford College before completing post graduate studies in book conservation at West Dean College. Her area of specialisation is the assessment of bookbinding leather for bookbinding and conservation work. Her current research, as part of her studies for an MA in Education, explores better ways of teaching bookbinding and conservation skills in higher education and vocational training. Karen has worked as a Book Conservator with the National Archives in Kew, London, the V&A Museum, London and The Leather Conservation Centre, UK. She has managed Book Conservation Services since 2006 and taught in the UK, Australia, Europe and East Asia.
Further information about Karen’s practical work and teaching can be found at: