What is Conservation?

Conservation aims to stabilise the condition of, and limit any further damage and deterioration to, a given object whilst working ethically to provide the best treatment possible. It can be broadly divided into two interrelated categories. Interventive conservation involves treatment to address the chemical and physical effects of damage and deterioration, cleaning and tear repair for example. Preventive conservation includes the provision of proper storage and monitoring and control of the environment. Conservation seeks to ensure long-term preservation and, in the case of LHSA, to enable continued safe access to a historically, socially and medically important collection.


LHSA's Preservation and Conservation Programme

LHSA aims to undertake collection-wide preventive conservation strategies, coupled with interventive conservation treatment of individual items or series as necessary, in order to address the preservation and conservation needs of the collections.  Core work funded from the annual budget is coupled with externally-funded projects and the programme is formalised in the LHSA Preservation and Conservation Policy. A summary of this policy is available to view via the right-hand menu, please contact us if you'd like to consult the full policy, or for any further information.

LHSA has played a key role in developing the University of Edinburgh's Disaster Response and Recovery Plan for its rare/unique collections, which covers LHSA material and ensures that we offer best practice collections care. An edited version of the Plan (with all sensitive data redacted) is available here.

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