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The role of Preservation

Preservation describes a group of activities intended to ensure that State archives survive for as long as possible.

Archives that are allowed to deteriorate or become damaged will become difficult to access and only effective preservation strategies will protect them from this fate.

In practice much of what constitutes preservation is actually commonsense, and if implemented will save money, time and resources in the long run.

Preventive vs. Remedial Conservation

Preservation has two main arms or sub-groups:

Preventive conservation involves holistic strategies to stop damage and deterioration

  • Taking care of the big picture
  • Optimum controlled environment
  • Control and mitigation of risks, e.g. disaster planning
  • Best quality materials storing and creating archives
  • Good handling and use procedures
  • Preservation copying

Remedial conservation involves intervention to repair damage or counteract deterioration

  • Specific treatments, such as repair, cleaning or the removal of damaging elements, such as rusty paper clips or mould