Portuguese Archives and Libraries: a Century of Preservation and Conservation Practices for the Control of Biodeterioration

Conceição Casanova, Ana Catarina Pinheiro

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Abstract

Biodeterioration has been a central subject for libraries and archives. Throughout the ages, different preventive and curative conservation measures were adopted to manage biodeterioration in Portuguese institutions, but the problem persists. A historic review of different methodologies used to prevent biodeterioration in the Portuguese context is presented and compared to international trends. It focuses on theories and practices of paper conservation on par with their evolution and a comparison between the art collectors’ world and Libraries and Archives is also made. Biodeterioration management has always been a major concern, namely amid librarians and archivists, among the first ones to endorse the implementation of preservation policies. Although preservation awareness has a relatively long history, it is vital to encourage a better understanding of it at the decision-making level. In fact, the implementation of preventive conservation strategies continues to be unsatisfactory, despite the current sustainability issues and the dangers of handling contaminated documentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-61
JournalConservar Património
Volume36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Biodeterioration; Preventive Conservation; Archives; Libraries; Contamination; Sustainability

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