Interventive conservation includes the physical and chemical stabilisation of artefacts by means of treatments such as mechanical cleaning, humidification, washing, deacidification and paper repairs. Book conservation treatments may also include stabilisation of the sewing supports and leather repairs. In line with the ethics of the profession all interventive treatments are documented in writing and photographically. Ethical considerations contribute to the decision-making process and treatment reflects current research into best practice. Repair materials and treatment procedures conform to archive and museum standards.
Preventive conservation covers the measures taken to monitor or control agents which cause deterioration to the collections such as: temperature, relative humidity, light, pests, handling, storage and disasters. Pest traffic and environmental conditions are monitored in all areas where the collections are stored and displayed. Special Collections has a written disaster response plan which is updated annually.
For more information about conservation, conservation training and private conservators please visit the Institute of Conservation website at http://www.icon.org.uk/