Information Studies


INSTG002 Collections Care

This year is the first for a re-designed module on Collections Care that will better reflect the needs of those responsible for the challenges inherent in preservation management, conservation programming and the collection care needs of library and archival material and will include digital preservation, photographic media, disaster planning and archival standards. In this way, this module will reflect the needs of those studying Information Management and the responsibilities of providing access to information.

A range of guest speakers will introduce many of the topics, which will include the moving of book and archive collections, the management of archival building projects and the challenges presented by photographs, film, and audio-visual materials. There will also be opportunities to hear experts talk on environmental management issues, on preparing for, and managing a disaster, and a practical session, utilising digital preservation software. In addition students will be encouraged to interact with speakers and will have formal sessions for the preparation of questions to encourage both interaction and debate. The programme, consists of ten sessions, and will present a wide- ranging and exceptional series of lectures on all the key aspects of collections care.

Session by session:

  • Visit to the University of the Arts London Archives and Special Collections Centre, including the Stanley Kubrick Archive. 
  • Preservation course outline and aims; the role of preservation in the long-term care of collections
  • The specification and project management of new archival building
  • The interpretation and utilisation of standards; the function and application of environmental monitoring
  • Preparing for disasters and an outline of new developments for utilising smart phone technology
  • The practical application of digital preservation software
  • Preserving sound archives; visit to the British Library Sound Archive
  • An analysis of photographic processes; care, packaging and storage
  • Moving archives and library collections; cleaning handling and book structure
  • The challenges of remedial conservation; visit to the Wellcome Trust Conservation studios

    Assessment: Assessment by coursework only

    Optional for: MA, Diploma and Certificate students in Library and Information Studies, Archives and Records Management, Records and Archives Management (International). This module is also available for short course students

    Prerequisites: The purpose of this course is to build upon and extend the study of preservation issues affecting archive and library collections. To ensure that participants get the full benefit of the analysis and discussions, it is advised that students need a good feel for, and basic grounding in, preservation management and planning. To assist those joining this course it is recommended that the following preparatory reading be undertaken:

1. Forde, H. and Rhys-Lewis, J., Preserving Archives, 2nd edition, Facet Publishing, 2013

2. A general awareness of the issues covered by both:

  • British Standards Institution, Recommendations for storage and exhibition of archival documents, PD 5454: 2012
  • British Standards Institution, Conservation and care of archive and library collections, BS 4971: 2017

3. British Standards Institution and the Collections Trust, Code of practice for cultural collections management, PAS 197:2009

Taught by: Jonathan Rhys-Lewis, ACR, leading Collections Care Consultant