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Conservation


The aim of the conservation programme was to preserve the collections by dry cleaning and re-housing in archival quality materials, and carrying out interventive conservation to minimise degradation.

An initial survey of the collections indicated that they were generally in a fair condition. Problems encountered were:

  • storage boxes and envelopes unsuitable for archives as they were themselves suffering from acid degradation
  • bundled manuscripts showing surface dirt
  • boxes too tightly packed
  • the use of metal fastenings
  • unprotected bound volumes

The treatment of the collections included:

  • replacement of all inappropriate boxes, envelopes and folders with archival quality equivalent
  • removal of metal fastenings, such as paperclips and staples
  • extensive dry cleaning of manuscripts
  • interventive treatments to prevent damage
  • constructing folders and sleeves to protect previously unprotected items

Certain bound items wwere rebacked by outside contractors. Particularly valuable material was treated interventively where necessary. One example of this was the papers of David Gregory, one of the Edinburgh collections.

Papers from the David Gregory collection before conservation
before conservation
Papers from the David Gregory collection after conservation
after conservation

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