Throughout its history, the National library of France has developed techniques appropriate to its preservation responsibilities. Alongside traditional curative care and binding, new activities have been added: prevention and preservation, staff training and awareness-raising, digitization, research, and technology monitoring.
BnF’s laboratory enables a truly scientific approach by developing methods for analyzing materials and the ways in which they age and degrade.
Activities are spread across four distinct sites, coordinated within the Preservation department by a central team based at the François Mitterrand Library (Site François-Mitterrand).
Preservation activities at Richelieu Library consist of:
- restoration workshops
- a reproduction workshop
- a laboratory
- training activities (emergency plan)
The Restoration section, based at the Richelieu Library, is responsible for BnF’s restoration activities. It currently consists of:
- workshops tasked with restoring ancient and modern bound documents, printed materials and manuscripts on all types of media and materials (5th to 20th centuries)
- and a reproduction workshop responsible for creating digital or microfilm backups of the site’s valuable documents, often after they have been restored.
The reproduction workshop
The reproduction workshop is involved in programs to create digital backups (permanent digital images) of BnF’s prestigious collections: daguerreotypes, glass plates, painted manuscripts, drawings, engravings, and old maps and plans.