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Preservation management

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National archives, centres and interest groups

There is a lot of helpful information in the websites listed in this section but it can be a bit bewildering for the beginner. The National Preservation Office is really the first port of call with its detailed guidance on many aspects of preservation management which is available free to download or you can request hard copy.

The National Preservation Office
The NPO website, part of the British Library website, has details of publications including a series of leaflets available free of charge. There is also a good news page. The British Library itself has pages on its website relating to conservation and preservation management at the British Library at

Institute of Conservation
Icon is “the lead voice for the conservation of cultural heritage in the UK” and the website includes this set of guidance on how to care for cultural objects in a wide range of media.

These somewhat old but nevertheless classic studies were commissioned by UNESCO and written by well-known and respected archivists from all over the world.

European Commission on Preservation and Access
The Netherlands Academy of Sciences hosts a site funded by the Netherlands National Archives and the European Commission on Preservation and Access. It includes the Gateway for Resources and Information on Preservation, a core of accessible and recent materials selected by experts which provides an introduction to a great many aspects of preservation.

Gateway for Resources and Information on Preservation
A core of accessible and recent materials selected by experts which provides an introduction to a great many aspects of preservation.

IFLA Core Activity for Preservation and Conservation
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Preservation and Conservation section (IFLA-PAC).

The UK National Archives
The UK National Archives (TNA) was formed in 2004 from a merger of the old Public Record Office (PRO) and the Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC). The Conservation pages,, contain guides covering introductions to English paper, parchments, photographs, seals and watermarks. The TNA Inspection and liaison Standards framework includes the Standard for Record Repositories ( as well as the Standing Conference on Archives and Museums (SCAM) Code of Practice on Archives for Museums and Galleries in the United Kingdom (

Collections Link
Collections Link, “the national collections management advisory service” has recently published the new edition of Benchmarks in Collection Care for Museums, Libraries and Archives as an interactive database at

National Archives of Australia standard for commercial storage
National Archives of Australia document setting the standard for suppliers of commercial storage to Australian government bodies.

Society of American Archivists Preservation pages
Society of American Archivists Preservation pages.

NARA Archives and Preservation page
NARA Archives and Preservation pages.

The Image Permanence Institute
The Image Permanence Institute (IPI), a non-profit research laboratory based at Rochester Institute of Technology, specialising in scientific research into the preservation of visual and other forms of recorded information. You can download the Preservation Calculator from this website and use it to find out about your storage environment, how fast your collection is deteriorating, whether your current storage conditions encourage mould growth. It will also assist in evaluating a given storage condition, comparing one storage condition to another and planning new storage conditions.

Stanford University Libraries Preservation Department
CoOLis (Conservation On-line) a project of the Preservation Department of Stanford University Libraries and contains a comprehensive listing of resources for those involved with the conservation of library, archives, and museum materials.

Northeast Document Conservation Center
The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) is one of the regional conservation centers in the United States. It aims to improve the preservation programs of libraries, archives, museums, and other historical and cultural organizations and to provide services to institutions that cannot afford in-house conservation facilities.

Library of Congress preservation pages
Library of Congress preservation pages.

Council on Library and Information Resources
Council on Library and Information Resources.

Boxing and Packaging

Archival boxes test results
As researched by the National Archives, providing key information for professionals to use in making the right choices for their needs.

Conservation supplies

These are the main conservation suppliers in the UK; they will all provide catalogues on request and give advice on requirements:

Disaster prevention and recovery

See the Digitisation section on our Digital Records links page.


See the Digitisation section on our Digital Records links page.

Audio-visual records

The National Film Preservation Foundation
The NFPF, an American organisation, has a website with lots of guidance on film preservation including the Film Preservation Guide: the Basics for Archives, Libraries, and Museums which is aimed at nonprofit and public organizations with limited resources.

A project website providing information on technical solutions and integrated systems for a complete digital preservation of all kinds of audio-visual collections.

Charging Models for Digital Cultural Heritage study
A study on behalf of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to investigate some of the underlying assumptions being made in the move from previously analog photographic services into the realm of digital capture and delivery, in particular to look at how marketable, cost efficient and income-stable the new digital services and resources are in comparison with previous methods.

Selecting conservators

The Conservation Register
For a list of Registered Conservators.

Jonathan Rhys-Lewis

Links last verified: 28.06.2020. Links will open in a new browser window.

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