Conservation and preservation

Conservation and preservation staff work together to ensure that records at the BC Archives receive the care they need for a long life. Records come in a variety of formats, and each poses different challenges. Conservation and preservation staff work with archivists to identify priorities and how best to preserve records while keeping them contextualized and accessible to the public.


Our paper conservator is responsible for assessing and treating paper-based records at the BC Archives. Archival records are examined when they are first acquired, flagged by archival staff or required for display. During the assessment, the conservator will identify issues and perform chemical treatments or physical repairs as necessary and make recommendations for further preventative measures. Some common conservation treatments include mold removal, paper cleaning and tear repairs.


Preservation staff are responsible for day-to-day preventative measures to minimize the deterioration of records and ensure they remain accessible to the public. Preservation staff use a variety of methods to accomplish this, including digital preservation of at risk media, improved or specialized housing to meet conservation standards, and the creation of alternate copies for fragile or frequently used records. Preservation staff also manage location inventories and databases to ensure all staff can locate items in our on and off-site storage facilities.


For more information on our digitization and digital preservation practices, see Digitization