Churchill Archive Centre actively conserves and preserves the documents, papers and artefacts that compose a rich, historic collection. Our aims are:
- To preserve archive material for the use of future generations.
- To make archive material available for today’s researcher to use safely.
Conservation involves the protection of archives by minimal physical and chemical treatments designed to resist further deterioration. Conservation treatments used on papers, photographs and books in the archives can include the following:
- Surface dry cleaning to remove abrasive, oily and acidic dirt.
- Relaxation of creased/warped items and flattening.
- Washing out acids or impurities from paper and photographs to chemically stabilise them.
- De-acidification of acidic and brittle papers and the addition of alkaline “buffers”.
- Repairs to tears or weak areas using fine acid-free tissues/papers and reversible adhesives.
- Removal of pressure-sensitive tapes, mounts etc which can cause damage over time.
- Stabilisation of mouldy material.
Preservation is the passive protection of archives in which no physical or chemical treatment is used. Preservation activities include the following:
- Protective packaging of archives using high-quality acid-free materials. Four-flap folders, custom-made boxes and clear polyester sleeves are used.
- Development of a Disaster Contingency Plan to prepare the Churchill Archives Centre to cope in the event of an emergency which threatens the holdings.
- Monitoring and maintaining environmental control in our archive stores.
- Surveying collections to ascertain condition and determine preservation or conservation needs.
- Preparation and mounting of original documents for exhibition.
- Training and advice for staff and readers in the correct handling and copying of documents.
For more information on Churchill Archive Centre’s conservation and preservation work, contact Sarah Lewery.