Taking part in the Preservation Advisory Centre’s ‘Essential Preservation’ course yesterday was a great opportunity to share LHSA’s experience of collection care with others new to the sector. We led a couple of sessions focusing on handling special collections and looking at the conditions that rare material should be stored in. A hands-on handling exercise proved to be particularly useful for attendees, having a go at carefully rolling and unrolling a damaged architectural plan (well, a piece of plain paper cut to the size of a plan and torn in a few places to simulate the real thing!).
But it wasn’t just a chance for us to help other archivists in the public sector get to grips with preserving their collections for the long-term, there was lots to be learnt from the other speakers too. One of the British Library’s preventive conservators talked about the development of their disaster plan and the Head of the Preservation Advisory Centre described various ways to communicate preservation issues to colleagues to get them involved in caring for the collection, so there were lots of top tips and great ideas to be had!