Preservation and conservation staff at the Borthwick Institute are responsible for the care of our collections, both physical and digital.
There has been a conservator at the Borthwick since the recruitment of the first document repairer in 1964. Currently in the conservation workshop there are two qualified conservators.
A digital archivist was first employed in 2012 to look after the increasing quantity of digital material in our care.
Conservation involves active treatments that are used to chemically or physically stabilise vulnerable originals.
These items could be damaged and at risk of further deterioration, or perhaps cannot be safely accessed as they are.
Examples of conservation treatments include:
We protect our digital holdings from the threat of corruption and obsolescence to ensure they remain readable over time.
Digital preservation includes:
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Preservation involves passive measures of care, which prevent damage or deterioration within the archive.
If the archives are stored in the right environment, well-packaged and handled carefully, we can considerably increase their lifespan.
Preservation includes activities such as:
The Borthwick Institute is committed to preservation for access.
We preserve documents so that they can be used by present and future generations.
We preserve and provide access to the unique and irreplaceable archives in our care, supporting research at the University of York and the rights and requirements of the public.
Our Archives Care and Conservation Policy describes the main principles that guide us in looking after the archives.