photo of lady conserving a mapConservation treatment, WW1 map

Conservation issues of archives are generally caused by the nature of the materials, improper storage or handling, and natural or other disasters. Preservation of different types of formats without losing the archival link, preparation of records for digitisation, and treatment of moulds and pests in large volumes of heterogeneous materials, all require the specialist skills we maintain at Artlab.

An archive is a collection of records correlated to each other which function as a primary source to document the nature of an organisation or of an individual during a specific time period. For example, a collection of letters sent and received by a soldier during a war period, a series of receipts from goods acquired to run a shop or a series of cash register books, can all function as archives.

Once the founder of an archive selects the material to be preserved for future generations, the archival unity is established. This is how archives differ from library collections - by forming a chain of records rather than a collection of separate items. We work with vast public and private archives but we also value small family and personal archives by offering the same level of conservation standards we use for the state’s collections.

Maps and technical drawings on the other hand represent a specific type of artefact. Their original function of fixing data by means of graphics, rather than expressing art, gives them a distinct function which is of a practical nature. This results in structures that were meant to be functional for specific activities like schooling, engineering, construction and navigation and for this reason, the conservation issues and treatments are very specific.

Artlab paper conservators can work with you or your organisation to plan the best approach for the conservation of maps and archival collections.