Tyne & Wear Archives Service has made a commitment to take all practical steps for the preservation of the records in its care for present and future access. This policy sets out what the Archives Service will do to protect its collections and includes aspects of both preservation and conservation.
The Archives Service will
- Maintain agreed standards of preservation and conservation throughout the Archives Service
- Package and store its records in conditions that meet current, professionally agreed standards ie BS5454
- Do everything possible to minimise damage to the collections through use.
- Promote good practice in handling records and provide suitable equipment to protect them while in use eg book supports, weights, polyester sleeves etc.
- Provide copies where present or anticipated high demand, poor condition, or both place the originals at risk in use eg microfilm, photocopy, digital copy etc.
- Withdraw documents from public access if they are identified as at serious risk from handling. Where possible access under supervision will be given or substitute copies made as soon as practicable. The remainder will be reassessed from time to time.
- Prioritise conservation work in accordance with agreed criteria which include historical importance, intrinsic worth, symbolic or physical value and user demand.
- Keep under review technical developments in the fields of preservation and conservation and implement those that are suitable.
- Raise awareness amongst users and staff of their joint responsibility for the continuing preservation of the materials in its care.
- Provide appropriate training in record care and preservation for all members of staff.
- Promote and encourage good practice in record creation and keeping among potential depositors of records to ensure that documents selected for preservation are on stable material and in good condition when deposited.
Tyne & Wear Archives Service October 2000