Preservation guides

Conservation and handling guidelines booklet.

Take a look at our free PDF guides on a range of conservation issues. These PDFs provide guidance on topics such as basic preservation techniques and environmental management. They also cover caring for books, photographs and bookbindings.

The PDF preservation guides listed below are for personal and academic use only. They are not for commercial use.

Please be advised that these guides are under review and some of the links in the current versions may no longer be up to date.

Blog posts

Paper Express! A Hand-Made Tale

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Heather Murphy Recently, within the conservation studio of the British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership, watermarks have been a theme. Throughout the months leading up to lockdown, my colleague Camille and I began developing a project based around some interesting examples...

Rolls from the King’s Library: An Unexpected Arrival

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Rebecca D’Ambrosio What do you do when something unexpected happens? When out of the blue something quite big lands in your hands? This is something that we can all too easily relate to today. Back in March 2019 this is...

Lotus Sutra Project: Conservation of a Scroll with Pre-11th Century Repairs. How Do We Avoid Disassociation?

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Marya Muzart, Digitisation Conservator International Dunhuang Project The Lotus Sutra Manuscripts Digitisation Project at The British Library, is a multi-year project aiming to conserve and digitise almost 800 copies of the Lotus Sutra scrolls in Chinese, with a view to...

The Mahārnava, Conservation of a 19th Century Birch Bark Manuscript

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Elisabeth Randell, Conservator (Books) Figure 1: IO San 3251 before treatment. The British Library has a large collection of birch bark manuscripts. This particular manuscript was flagged for conservation because it was requested for digitisation. Unfortunately, due to its condition...

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PDF guides