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Safeguarding your collection

The Library helps keep the nation’s memory on your behalf. We hold just about every British publication, safeguarding the record of ideas that each generation builds on.

Our new Centre for Conservation symbolises this commitment. Completed to budget and operational before the year end, the Centre is set to be a world-leading focus for scientific applications and craft techniques in the conservation of the written word  and recorded sound.

Careful stewardship of the national collection demands rigorous control of the storage  environment; if temperature and humidity are  correct, books will last for centuries. The conditions in the new high-density store nearing completion at  Boston Spa meet the most exacting international standards, and the fully-automated low-oxygen  building will provide about 260km of additional  shelving.

Older storage buildings have not provided the same level of collection care; the newspaper collection at Colindale is held in poor environmental conditions over which we have little control. Our concerns about long-term storage and access to the collection have prompted a radical reappraisal. Our recently  released newspaper strategy proposes the closure of the Colindale building and the transfer of services. Our intention is to provide access to digital and microfilmed newspapers at St Pancras.


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