Textual and Visual records - Centre of Excellence - Library and Archives Canada
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Home > Preservation > Excellence

Conservation of Textual and Visual Records

Conservation treatment of textual records such as manuscripts and printed material, and of visual records such as maps, photographs and works of art on paper is undertaken in the laboratories of the Gatineau Preservation Centre. Treatments have two primary purposes: to slow down or prevent the deterioration of documents resulting from the use of poor quality materials (e.g., the use of acidic materials in the manufacture of paper) or from environmental factors (e.g., uncontrolled temperature, humidity, light); and to repair damage already done to documents, thereby permitting their continued availability for use.
Treatments performed on documents by professional conservators vary from minimal interventions, intended to make as many items available for consultation as possible, to more extensive treatments when an item is intended to be used for exhibition, publication or other special use. Activities range from the physical examination of new acquisitions to detailed treatments on single items.

Conservators also provide advice and support to many of the other fundamental activities of Library and Archives Canada in the form of research into conservation techniques and approaches, advice on methods of disaster preparedness and recovery, and technical evaluations of samples and products.