Posts Tagged ‘preservation’

Preservation guidelines

February 15th, 2011 by Silvia Gallotti, Archives Assistant

After attending last year a very useful training day at the Preservation Advisory Centre, my colleague Catherine McIntyre and I have been working on new preservation guidelines for the LSE Archives.

We decided to have two sets of guidelines, one for users and one for staff.

The guidelines for users include sections on how to handle material to minimise damage to our collections and how to behave in the reading room. We wanted to make them as easy to follow as possible and to create something that would catch users’ attention, so we put together a leaflet using colourful icons to represent DOs and DON’Ts.

DOs and DON'Ts leaflet

DOs and DON'Ts leaflet

We also took some photographs of us handling material and created a poster with them to show how to handle different material (i.e. documents, photographs and volumes).

How to handle different material

How to handle different material

The staff guidelines are only accessible to staff via our brand new wiki and include sections on fetching and shelving, cataloguing and photocopying. We took photographs to show how to carry volumes, how to photocopy material, how to fetch volumes.

How to photocopy volumes

How to photocopy volumes

How to carry volumes

How to carry volumes

We hope that these guidelines will be a useful reference to both users and staff and will help us  raise awareness of the importance of correct handling of archive materials and rare books.

Preserving Collections for the Future

July 10th, 2009 by Sue Donnelly, Archivist
The archives storage area at LSE

The archives storage area at LSE

Last week’s post A New Lease of Life referred to conservation work recently carried out on the reports produced by the Salvation Army Colony at Hadleigh. One of the challenges the archives team face is where to go for advice and guidance on the physical care fo the collections. One of our first stops is the National Preservation Office (NPO), part of the British Library’s Collection Care Department. The NPO provides guidance for practitioners in libraries, archives and museums in the form of guidance leaflets, reports, training days and conferences across the spectrum of preservation from dealing with acid paper, managing the library environment to coping with digital materials.

On Tuesday I spend the morning attending one of a number of focus groups the NPO have been running in conjunction with RLUK to investigate training and staff development needs in the area of preservation across the UK’s research libraries. Eight participants drawn from libraries, archives and museums met to try and help both the NPO and RLUK identify some of the strategic and practical issues to be faced in this area.

The group were asked to think about the most helpful sources of support in learning more about preservation issues in the past year and where we have struggled to find relevant guidance. We were also asked to consider three current issues (digital preservation, the problem of acid paper  and consortial and collaborative working) and consider the staff development requirements of each issue.

It was clear from the discussions that while there is much excellent support there remain gaps at all levels from preservation advocacy for chief executives and funders to ensuring that conservators, with specific skills such as photographic materials or textiles continue to be trained.

Concerned as we are to ensure that out collections are available not only to current researchers but generations in the future this is an important piece of work and I am looking forward to reading the report when it comes out towards the end of the summer.


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