Friday, 18 November 2011

Promoting LHSA’s Preservation Policy: a paper conservator’s perspective

Yesterday I gave a presentation as part of the RLUK/PAC training day: writing and using a preservation policy. LHSA’s experiences of producing and implementing a policy of this kind were shared with 16 delegates from organisations near and far, from St Andrews to Stockholm!

The event was hosted by the National Library of Scotland and most of the day was given over to showing the delegates what should be in a preservation policy and how to go about writing one. I was last up with a short, informal presentation using LHSA as a case study. We finalised our policy in 2007 (a summary version is available on the LHSA website), and it has been the foundation for all our preservation and conservation work on the collections since.

I talked about why LHSA felt a policy of this kind was important (to formalise our responsibility for the care and use of the collections) and what the aims of the policy are (to outline LHSA’s approach to the care of the collections, both present and future, and to detail current conditions and conservation work). I also described how it had been used to underpin our conservation programme and as part of the induction process for new staff. The policy has also been used as supporting evidence for applications to external funding bodies and in my own professional accreditation. I finished up the talk with some thoughts about what we might do with and to the policy in future and gave the delegates some top tips!

The training day was a great opportunity to meet other professionals and share some of LHSA’s experience in this important area for the preservation of our cultural heritage.

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