University to Lead in Book Preservation

University to Lead in Book Preservation

A conservation studio using latest techniques to preserve thousands of historic books and documents will be built at Aberdeen University.

An American philanthropist has donated £2m towards the facility, to be located beside the new library building.

The University has a 200,000-strong collection of historic books and 4,000 archival collections.  

The donation, from Dr Loretta Brennan Glucksman, will make it a centre of expertise in preserving rare documents.

Work will start later this year on constructing the £57m library, due to open late in 2011.

One aim of the project is to safeguard the extensive collections of rare books and make them more accessible to researchers and the public through exhibitions and readings.

The Glucksman Conservation Studio will safeguard the documents, and also teach the latest methods in paper and book preservation.

Announcing her gift, Dr Glucksman said her late husband Lew had a passionate interest in conserving literary and historic treasures.

"He wanted future generations to enjoy rare materials in the same way as he had done," she said.

The university's collections include estate papers from throughout north east Scotland dating back to the 13th century and copies of the Aberdeen Journal from its launch in 1747.

The MacBean and Jacobite collections illustrate the context of the Jacobite risings.

Other works of international significance include the writings of philosopher Thomas Reid and the photography of George Washington Wilson.

University principal Prof C Duncan Rice said the collections, in 25 languages, were of "great scholarly importance".

"This extremely generous gift will enable the university in turn to make a gift by preserving and promoting material to intrigue and inspire researchers and our communities today and to enrich and educate generations to come."

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from BBC website

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