Film, Video The Real Thing: Using Collections for Collaborative Conservation

About this Item

The Real Thing: Using Collections for Collaborative Conservation
The British Library is one of the top libraries in the world with responsibilities for a large number of books, approximately 625 kilometers (400 miles) of shelved items, including iconic books. In the United Kingdom, this responsibility is shared with five other legal deposit libraries. Many of the items are now becoming fragile, depending on the paper used to make them and the subsequent degradation. The legal deposit libraries along with two major British archives are performing research into the state of preservation of identical books deposited in the libraries. This group of institutions is looking at novel ways of assessing preservation condition. One method currently being explored is to correlate the volatile compounds being released by the books to their condition. The presentation is a description of the achievements and difficulties of this collaborative research.
Event Date
October 02, 2008
-  Since 2006, Velson Horie has been the research project manager at the British Library, coordinating a 2.5 year research project on the condition of books in the six British legal deposit libraries and two major British archives. For the previous 28 years, he was keeper of conservation at the Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, responsible for improving care and storage conditions of five million objects ranging from archaeology to zoology collections, and a £21 million capital re-development project. He has published over 80 articles in conservation, research, and professional coordination. He has taught university lectures, "Chemistry for Conservators" distance learning course, and courses both in Britain and abroad.
Related Resources
Preservation at the Library of Congress:
Running Time
54 minutes 24 seconds
Online Format

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

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The Real Thing: Using Collections for Collaborative Conservation. 2008. Video.

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(2008) The Real Thing: Using Collections for Collaborative Conservation. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

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