Preserving the collection

Our collection holds more than 40 million items and occupies almost 380,000m in shelf space.

The collection includes:

  • paper-based files
  • audiovisual records
  • digital records
  • bound volumes
  • photographs
  • maps and plans
  • microforms
  • other objects

We preserve items in two main ways:

  1. We provide quality long-term records storage.
  2. We target and care for at-risk records.

Quality long-term records storage

Quality long-term records storage slows the physical records' ageing process. This gives us time to manage the preservation of these records.

The digital archive is stored on 2 independent systems to prevent data loss.

Targeting at-risk records

Records considered at-risk are:

  • chemically unstable
  • in poor condition
  • regularly accessed

Our preservation policy guides conservation staff working in:

  • treating records
  • preventing damage
  • preparing exhibitions
  • digitising physical records for preservation
  • preserving audiovisual records
  • preserving digital records