We aim to preserve all the records in our care for ever and keep their contents accessible.
Put together, all our records would nearly fill two Olympic sized swimming pools!
We care for our records by:
We also carry out specific treatments on records that need it. We may clean and repair fragile records or protect stable records if they are part of a popular or significant collection that is likely to be handled a lot.
We are trained to understand the needs of all our records from medieval bindings to blue prints. Some treatments involve technical and painstaking work whereas other treatments provide simple, quick and practical solutions to problems.
We all create, inherit and pass on records. The records you value most can be looked after carefully to preserve them for the next generation.
You can do this by:
Handy hints and tips:
We can’t avoid handling documents, but we can take steps to make sure damage to them is reduced as much as possible.
Hints and tips:
Gloves are not always the best option! Gloves can make your hands clumsy, just make sure your hands are clean and dry. However do use gloves (such as vinyl or nitrile) when handling photographs or documents which are very dirty.
Documents survive much longer if they are wrapped and then placed inside archive boxes. We use recommended standards when choosing archival packaging for our records, please ask us for advice on packaging different types of documents
Photography can provide us with a window into the past as far back as the 1830s. A photograph can be made onto metal, glass, plastic or paper. The image surface is particularly fragile and may fade, crack or be scratched. A photograph may also become meaningless if it is not labelled or no-one knows who or what is in it.
Special care can be given to photographs by:
To help others look after collections, our specialist conservation team run a number of conservation workshops during the course of the year. To view the latest workshops, visit our dedicated events page by clicking here.