The work of the conservation department is split into 2 parts:
- preservation, which is mainly about proper storage
- conservation, which is physically repairing damaged items
To preserve the archives we need to ensure that they are stored correctly.
The temperature and humidity of the storage areas are constantly monitored. If it got too hot and humid, mould would start growing on the documents.
We avoid insect infestations with good housekeeping procedures and insect traps in all storage rooms.
To protect the documents from light and dust, they're packaged with acid free materials and stored in archival boxes.
And we have a disaster plan in place just in case something were to go wrong, like a leaking pipe.
Damaged documents, books and photographs are repaired using specialist materials and equipment. You can look at an example of repairing a 16th century deed which appears to have been damaged by a rodent.
Our archive conservation staff are always happy to offer advice on how to best store and care for your documents. You can contact us by email, telephone or mail to discuss your records. If necessary, we may be able to arrange a consultation.
Storing materials correctly is a big step towards ensuring their preservation for the future. Purchasing a small amount of packaging materials for personal use can be expensive. Derbyshire Record Office therefore offers these items for sale. Full details of the range stocked, along with the prices are attached to this page.
If you'd like to find a qualified paper conservator near you, please use the Conservation Register online or tel: 01684 591150.