Library Conservation

The Hagley Library Conservation staff ensures access to the research materials in the Imprints, Pictorial, Manuscripts and Archives departments by providing preservation support through stabilization treatment, appropriate housing, and monitoring of environmental conditions.

The primary goal of the Library Conservation staff is to improve the longevity of books, photographic materials, and paper artifacts by using stable materials for treatment and housing. Materials are housed in stacks and storage facilities with environmental controls to maintain appropriate temperature and humidity. A cool storage vault is available for artifacts with inherent chemical instability, such as photographic films and color photographs, and certain plastics. These measures preserve the collection and ensure research access for years to come.

Treatment Facilities

The Conservation staff at Hagley Library have access to two facilities equipped for a variety of book and paper treatments. Treatments performed include: washing for reduction of discoloration and degradation products in paper; removal of pressure sensitive tapes and adhesive residues; humidification and flattening; mold aspiration and removal of surface grime; and consolidation of flaking media and degrading leather bindings.

Other activities

The Conservation staff inspects incoming collections for signs of pest infestation and mold growth, processes imprints for use, provides emergency response and recovery training, and designs, prepares and mounts small case and museum exhibits.

If you would like more information about the Conservation Department at Hagley, contact Laura Wahl at 302-658-2400 ext 236 or use our Ask Hagley online form.