The quandary of conservation
Conservation of library materials presents a wide range of issues, both in technique as well as following ethical practices. As seen in the image above thoughtless restoration rather than conservation could irrevocably destroy the history of the object. There are great challenges in preserving the evidence of the past. We are only temporary guardians of the materials in our care. Our aim is to follow the the best practice principles for the conserving, preserving and expanding our knowledge about the materials in our collection.
The AIC defines conservation as follows:
Conservation encompasses actions taken toward the long-term preservation of cultural property. Conservation activities include examination, documentation, treatment, and preventative care, supported by research and education.
So, conservation is more than repair. It is an art, a skill, a profession and of “paramount importance”.