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Update, December 2013

We are sorry to announce that the Preservation Advisory Centre will be closing at the end of March 2014. We are currently in discussion with other stakeholders in the heritage sector, with a view to sustaining services in some form. Please note that all scheduled training courses and PAS services will be delivered. We will update this page with more information over the coming months.


The Preservation Advisory Centre is part of the British Library Collection Care department. We help the collection community address the growing challenges of managing physical and digital collections for the long-term through our training programme, preservation management tools and information services. Our resources provide something for everyone whether starting out in preservation or seeking support on specific issues. With the support and experience of the British Library, we act as a hub for preservation knowledge, where collaborative working, skills and knowledge sharing can take place.

Our goals for 2013-2014 are to:

  • Provide guidance and support on physical and digital preservation issues.
  • Enhance the capacity for good decision-making and enable informed, cost-effective improvements in preservation practice.
  • Grow and share preservation knowledge.

To achieve this we will:

  • Act as a hub for preservation knowledge, sharing the experience of the British Library and other organisations through partnerships, seminars, discussion sessions, and published information.
  • Create a framework for preservation activity that encourages progressive learning, the identification of connections between activities and the implementation of best practice.
  • Review existing guidance, training and the Preservation Assessment Survey (PAS) service and develop as appropriate to better address the needs of digital collections.
  • Encourage and participate in the development of resources that will help demonstrate the value of preservation activities.

What we do:

Flyer (PDF format) 479KB

Advisory Group

The work of the Preservation Advisory Centre is supported by its Advisory Group. Formed from stakeholders including senior preservation professionals with management knowledge and an understanding of the library and archive sector, the purpose of the Advisory Group is:

  • To provide expert advice, national and international perspectives to support the direction and operation of the Preservation Advisory Centre.
  • To provide a means of exchanging best practice in preservation and facilitate the development of a community of practice.


The Preservation Advisory Centre gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust, The Marsh Christian Trust, the National Archives of Scotland, Research Libraries UK, and the John Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust to its work during the period 2009 – 2012.


The British Library Board established the National Preservation Office (NPO) in 1984 following the publication of the Ratcliffe Report. The principal needs at that time were felt to be the raising of awareness of preservation issues in libraries and the provision of a focal point for preservation management.

The National Preservation Office integrated with the British Library Collection Care department in 2009 and was renamed the Preservation Advisory Centre. This provided a focus for preservation and more opportunities for staff of libraries and archives to learn preservation management skills.