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'Doing more with less?' Forum on skills development

30 November 2009

British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London

The Preservation Advisory Centre’s first annual forum was themed around skills development. Set against the backdrop of an uncertain economic climate and gloomy forecasts for both training and collection care activities, the forum set out to explore both the skills needed to care for today’s collections and content, and approaches for developing skills with limited resources. Delegates representing all aspects of collections gathered to share experience and learn from colleagues. A truly impressive diversity of attendees ensured that discussions covered traditional preservation needs of physical collections, digital preservation issues, concerns relating to the preservation of sound collections, the opportunities for e-learning, working with volunteers and partnership working. Feedback from the day includes:

  • “Extremely informative – and we know we’re all in the same position too. Some myths dispelled.”
  • “Thank you for an excellent forum, with quality speakers and well-organised.”
  • “Brilliant event! Would be interesting to have more case-studies on how decisions were made elsewhere, how they were implemented and what impact they had.”
  • “A very inspiring and highly motivational day. I was pleasantly surprised by how relevant the day was for small private archives. It has helped me feel less isolated.”
  • “Very informative and inspirational. Presented well. Presenters excellent.”


Strategic challenges for preservation in libraries and archives
Helen Shenton, Head of Collection Care, British Library

Part 1. The changing landscape: user habits, user demands, the digital world (Audio file 14 mins 30 secs)

Part 2. Strategy at the British Library: anticipating problems, preventing problems, acting on problems, developing capacity (Audio file 14mins 56 secs)

Preservation training needs in Research Libraries UK and higher education libraries (PDF format) 223KB
Jane Arthur, Preservation Training Coordinator, British Library Preservation Advisory Centre

The benefits of partnerships in preservation projects (PDF format) 725KB
Sheila Hingley, Head of Heritage Collections, Durham University Library

Action Conservation: engaging volunteers hands-on (PDF format) 584KB
Vicki Marsland, National Trust Conservator South

Distance learning at Northumbria University
Jean Brown, Programme Leader, Preventive Conservation, Northumbria University

Work-based learning opportunities at the British Library
Catherine Atkinson, Head of Conservation Learning and Development, British Library

Digital preservation - what do I need to know? (PDF format) 1.19MB
William Kilbride, Executive Director, Digital Preservation Coalition

Preserving sound
Will Prentice, Head of Technical Services, Sound Archive, British Library

Modern materials: new problems, new skills? (PDF format) 3.76MB
Cordelia Rogerson, Acting Head of Conservation, British Library

Preservation Advisory Centre's skills development programme (PDF format) 248KB
Caroline Peach, Head, British Library Preservation Advisory Centre