Preservation and Conservation
The Conservation Department works to preserve and conserve the collections of the National Library of Ireland. In general, preservation measures do not improve the condition of an object, but slow down degradation and prevent damage by passive methods. By contrast, conservation aims to prolong the life and accessibility of collections through interventive treatments, which improve the physical, chemical and often visual condition of an object.
As well as the conservation treatment of rare and unique objects, library conservators work on a diverse range of measures to reduce any risks of damage to the collections. These activities include policy advice on handling, condition assessment surveying, rehousing and phase-boxing. Conservators also prepare library items for onsite exhibitions and digitisation and loan items within Ireland and overseas. Library conservators give advice to members of the public and often hold 'caring for your collection' workshops with education colleagues, but cannot undertake practical work.
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