Collection Care blog

19 February 2020

From Integrated Pest Management to Preserving Historic Photos - Spring and Summer 2020 One Day Courses at British Library

By West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

A person with shoulder-length, light brown hair looks through a microscope at a photograph.

The British Library and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation collaborate to deliver Continued Professional Development for those involved with care of libraries, archives and collections, and for conservation students.

Spring and Summer 2020 courses include:

Preservation Assessment Survey Workshop – 3 March 2020

As librarians, archivists or conservators we often know, either instinctively or anecdotally, about the state of our collections. This knowledge is not always easy to quantify or translate into information we can use to influence funders. To ensure access to the resources we need to ensure the long term preservation of our heritage collections we need to be able to present statistically robust information. A sample survey whether of condition and preservation, dirt levels or readiness for digitisation will provide a snapshot of the current situation. This data can be analysed, extrapolated and compared against appropriate standards to provide short, medium- and long-term activities.  A good survey will provide both quick wins and longer-term strategic information for its institution and is an effective tool for accessing funding.

Disaster response and salvage training – 26 March 2020

With reference to case studies, you will learn strategies for dealing with damage through an emergency decision-making exercise and a major incident desktop scenario.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • identify the key issues that a disaster plan needs to address
  • give examples of the decisions to be made when responding to an incident
  • source salvage equipment to build a disaster kit

Damaged books and bound archives: practical first steps – 2 April 2020

Gain the knowledge to confidently care for the books in your collection though learning:

  • Identification of different types of damage and recognition of the causes.
  • Simple steps for minimising damage.
  • Understanding appropriate treatment options and decision-making for remedial treatment.
  • Understanding use of protective enclosures, including a protective exercise in tying tape and making melinex™ wrappers.
  • Working with conservators and volunteers.

Preserving Historic Photographs – 14 May 2020

Photographs are found in museums, libraries and archives all over the world and their care can present special challenges. This course is aimed at those responsible for their care. You will learn how to identify the common photographic processes, recognise potential conservation problems and solutions and prioritise care accordingly. The environmental, storage and wider preservation requirements of photographs will be covered, including how these might relate to digitisation projects. Examples of the common processes will be shown and discussed as part of the course. Samples of storage materials and enclosures will be given to participants. Handouts will be included. The course is led by Susie Clark ACR ICON, an accredited and experienced photographic conservator. Susie has given many courses in a variety of regional and national institutions in many countries and is used to providing practical help and advice.

Preventing pests by integrated pest management (IPM) – 9 June 2020

This one-day workshop provides an introduction to preventing pests through use of integrated pest management. The course is aimed at anyone with any involvement with, or responsibility for care of libraries, archives and collections. Technical handouts will be given to support the course. You will learn about the main insect pests which attack collections, what they need to live, how to identify them, the damage they cause, ways to prevent them becoming established, understanding pest environments, selecting the most appropriate treatments to control pests and how to make plans to establish an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme.

Environment: Effective monitoring and management – 18 June 2020

Avoiding a 'one size fits all' approach to environmental parameters, the day helps you to understand the vulnerabilities and tolerances of your collections and then shows how to set realistic and achievable targets that are appropriate to the materials in your care and the resources available to you.

The focus of the day will be on relative humidity and temperature ensuring you understand how they behave and can make informed choices about targets that you set.  At the end of the day you will be in a strong position to take cost-effective decisions and prioritise actions for maintaining a sustainable environment.

Dust and dirt: Strategies for prevention and management – 29 June 2020

This one day course includes practical sessions on how to clean books and discusses cleaning of stack areas. It also provides steps to follow when setting up a housekeeping programme and highlights what to think about if you are considering involving volunteers.

You will learn:

  • What is dust and why does it matter?
  • How to monitoring and measure dust, including a case study in progress at the British Library.
  • Practical measures to prevent dust and dirt.
  • How to clean books and documents, shelves and stacks.
  • Setting up a housekeeping programme and working with volunteers.

Preserving Historic Photographs – 24 September 2020

Photographs are found in museums, libraries and archives all over the world and their care can present special challenges. This course is aimed at those responsible for their care. You will learn how to identify the common photographic processes, recognise potential conservation problems and solutions and prioritise care accordingly. The environmental, storage and wider preservation requirements of photographs will be covered, including how these might relate to digitisation projects. Examples of the common processes will be shown and discussed as part of the course. Samples of storage materials and enclosures will be given to participants. Handouts will be included. The course is led by Susie Clark ACR ICON, an accredited and experienced photographic conservator. Susie has given many courses in a variety of regional and national institutions in many countries and is used to providing practical help and advice.

Courses are £147 each and take place at British Library.

Book online

Enquiries +44 (0)1243 818300

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