Archives Conservation

We combine traditional craft skills with modern professional techniques to conserve and preserve our archive collections.

Our purpose-built conservation studio is located at the West Yorkshire History Centre in Wakefield. We provide conservation services to all five WYAS offices in Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees to preserve our collections so they are accessible both now and into the future.

Professional members of our conservation team are accredited by the Institute of Conservation. We are also proud to be a registered training office for the Archives and Records Association’s Archives Conservation Training Scheme. 

We are committed to the highest standards, supported by sector guidance such as BS 4971:2017 Conservation and care of archive and library collections.  Our conservation and preservation work covers the full range of WYAS archive materials which date from the 12th century to the present day. These include: paper, parchment, photographs, bindings, wax seals, maps and plans. 

Our conservation services include:

  • Collections condition assessments and reports
  • Conservation treatments, including cleaning and repairs
  • Exhibition supports
  • Book binding
  • Photographic preservation
  • Archival and bespoke packaging
  • Public engagement
  • Conservation training
  • Handling advice
  • Environmental monitoring and integrated pest management
  • Emergency planning and salvage

We accept enquiries for conservation work and can be reached here. Please note that advice given over the phone or e-mail can only be general and we cannot give valuations. For specific guidance, a conservator will need to examine items in person.

Our work is often featured on our social media platforms X [formerley Twitter] , Facebook and Instagram, our Catablogue, and on our YouTube page – follow us for more information! 

Caring for archive bindings

Conservation Events and Workshops

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.