Celebrating Preservation Week 2020: Deeper Dive

May 1, 2020
Richenda Brim
Jars of thread used in Conservation Services


This year for Preservation Week we are sharing resources on collection care and conservation that we hope enrich your understanding of our preservation program. In our previous post we covered the foundations of preservation practices. Now we would like to recommend a few webinars and resources to take a deeper dive into special issues in conservation and preservation related to specific treatments, different formats, and collection environments.

ICON: Conservation Together at Home webinars

The ICON Book and Paper Group have organized a webinar series to support conservators and conservation students working and studying at home. Our team recommends diving into any of these recorded webinars to learn more about conservation treatments, projects, and programs from professional colleagues in the UK, but we would like to highlight two:


From Author’s Draft to Select Library Holding: The Metamorphosis of Franz Kafka’s Manuscripts

Fiona McLees, (Paper Conservator, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) spoke about Franz Kafka's manuscripts in the excellent Conservation: Together at Home Webinar program, presented by the Institute of Conservation.  Entitled “From Author’s Draft to Select Library Holding: The Metamorphosis of Franz Kafka’s Manuscripts” the talk describes the conservation of 3 Franz Kafka manuscripts housed in the Bodleian Library.  It presents a history of the manuscripts’ labyrinthine journey from Prague to Oxford, and a framework for evaluating the conservation treatment outcome from access, end user and stakeholders’ perspectives.  The effects that even remedial conservation and enclosures can have on intangible qualities in archival collections and some of the dilemmas conservators face in weighing treatment options are addressed.

  • Beth Ryan, Book Conservator


Conserving the National Trust’s libraries

Caroline Bendix’s presentation on "Conserving the National Trust’s libraries"  was an interesting insight into the challenges of working with the non-circulating book collections of historical buildings throughout the UK. The webinar overviewed the in situ preservation and care of books, covering aspects from cataloguing the collections to preservation concerns and finally to conservation assessment and treatment. Highlights from the talk included the challenges of working with historical bookcases, identification of pest damage, training and working with staff of all skill levels, and implementing practical and visually unobtrusive preservation solutions for the book collections. 

  • Aisha Wahab, Paper Conservator


Brushes used in Conservation Services hanging on a wall in a line.


Image Permanence Institute Webinars

The Image Permanence Institute (IPI) is a cultural heritage collection preservation research center at Rochester Institute of Technology. IPI conducts research and develops training and preservation management resources that inform many of our practices. As might be obvious from the name, their research program is especially focused on photographic, film, and digital print preservation. If you are interested in learning about the identification and care of image collections from the 19th century to the present day, IPI is an excellent resource.


Graphic Atlas

A visual resource developed by IPI to aid with identification of processes from pre-photographic all the way up to digital printing. You can also sign up for “Picture of the Month” to receive an image in your email with a brief explanation of its process and clues to identification of the same in your collections.


Using Identification to Improve Collection Preservation and Access

This is the final installment in a six-webinar series led by Alice Carver-Kubik, Research Scientist at IPI, on the identification and care of photographs and digital prints. The presentation covers the importance of process identification for photographic collections covering how proper identification informs preservation, intellectual control, and access. She provides overviews of environmental monitoring, storage and housings, process vocabulary, and how to use the Graphic Atlas. 

*requires email for quick registration


We hope you find these resources interesting and enlightening. Thank you for tuning in to our abbreviated, remote Preservation Week 2020 celebration!

For additional suggestions of professional development resources as they relate to preservation, please contact a member of the Preservation Department staff.