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Preservation at BnF: policy, laboratory, and sites

Throughout its history, the Library 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 Services Department by a central team based at the François Mitterrand Library (Site François-Mitterrand).

Preservation at the Richelieu Library (Site Richelieu) (Paris, 2nd arrondissement)

Preservation activities at Richelieu Library consist of:

Richelieu library
  • restoration workshops
  • a reproduction workshop
  • a laboratory
  • the documentation center on the preservation of graphic materials
  • training activities (emergency plan)
The restoration department, 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 workshops of the restoration department

The workshops of the restoration department within the Preservation Services Department work for all BnF’s so-called special collections departments, mainly on bound documents. Several special collections departments also have their own local workshops: the Maps and Plans Department, the Prints and Photographs Department, the Coins, Medals and Antiques Department, and the Eastern and Western Manuscripts Departments. The Arsenal Library (Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal) and the Opera Library also have a workshop mainly tasked with maintaining their collections.

 


The department’s reproduction workshop

The department’s 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.

 


Specific to this site is: the documentation center on the preservation of graphic materials

It carries out documentary monitoring in the various areas of preservation (preservation and restoration of printed, handwritten, graphic and photographic materials, deterioration agents, preservation policy, standards and recommendations...). it also  publishes and promotes internally-produced documentation, and hosts specialist researchers and students.

 

Volumetry:

  • Monographs: about 3000 documents
  • Periodicals: about one hundred out-of-print and currently available (56) periodical titles

Monday, April 4, 2011

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