Vision and mission
The Preservation Advisory Centre’s vision is of accessible, usable, sustainable collections. We believe that collections and content are for the benefit of users now and into the future. We believe that good preservation practices are central to the ability to access collections and content over the long-term. We see investment in preservation as the single most cost-effective method of ensuring the long-term availability of the documentary heritage thereby supporting the sustained contribution of libraries and archives to the knowledge economy.
Our mission is to build a community with the tools and support to actively take part in the preservation of library and archive collections. We believe that preservation is everyone’s responsibility. By working together and sharing knowledge and experience users, volunteers and staff working with library and archive collections can embed a culture which ensures that the way collections are managed and used contributes to their long-term accessibility. The Preservation Advisory Centre will take a lead role in fostering collaborative working, providing opportunities for skills sharing, training and in the development of preservation management tools and services.
Goals for 2009-12
To build on the work of the National Preservation Office (NPO) in establishing the Preservation Advisory Centre as a leading provider of preservation guidance and services.
To create an environment in which the public value of investment in preservation is recognised and supported.
To achieve these goals we will:
- Extend the reach of our training, guidance and preservation management services to libraries and archives of all types in the UK and Ireland. We will do this by increasing awareness of our services and by offering training at locations throughout the UK and Ireland. We will review our existing guidance information and introduce a programme of updates and new topics.
- Develop innovative products, services and methods of delivery to support preservation activity. We will develop new support services to assist organisations with the Preservation Assessment Survey. We will investigate new methods of delivery for products and services, particularly the opportunities available for e-learning and remote access to preservation management tools. We will seek to develop new preservation management tools in the areas of prioritisation and life-cycle collection management.
- Build partnerships with like-minded organisations and work with these organisations to achieve maximum impact and avoid duplication. Our collaboration with Research Libraries UK in the field of preservation training is an exemplar. Our aim is to build partnerships which will support sharing of expertise and improve the availability of the services we provide.
- Provide a focus for preservation activity by raising awareness of preservation need and advocating for support and investment. We will work towards publishing an updated picture of the preservation needs of the UK’s library and archive collections in 2012. We will use findings to inform the direction of our own work and to make the case for wider investment in preservation. We will work with funding organisations to support best practice in preservation.
Annual update for 2009-10 (PDF Format) 479KB
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.
The first six months of operation as the British Library Preservation Advisory Centre were marked on 30 November 2009 by a reception at the British Library Centre for Conservation. Supporters of the Preservation Advisory Centre and its predecessor, the National Preservation Office gathered to celebrate recent achievements and learn about the Centre’s plans. Mark Brown, Chair of Research Libraries UK gave the opening address and spoke warmly about the new organisation and the success of the partnership between RLUK and the Preservation Advisory Centre in the field of preservation training
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.
Between 1995 and 2009 the National Preservation Office (NPO) was operated as a joint venture between the British Library and other UK and Ireland library and archive institutions. Its operation was guided by a management committee, members of which were drawn from the funding organisations: the British Library, the National Archives, The National Library of Scotland, Trinity College Library Dublin, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Wales, the National Archives of Scotland, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland and Oxford University Library Services.
In addition, contributions to the work of the NPO for the period 2005-2009 were received from the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), the Consortium of National and University Libraries (CONUL) and the Heritage Council of Ireland.