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ARA Announces Campaign to Promote Vital Work of Archive Conservators

ArchI’ve Preserved and Conserved to Launch on 27 June 2017 at Palace of Westminster, London

21 June 2017

The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) today announces the launch of a campaign to promote the unique and highly-specialised skills of archive conservators.

Called ArchI’ve Preserved and Conserved, the campaign forms part of the annual Explore Your Archive campaign that promotes the range and significance of holdings across the UK and Irish documentary heritage sector.

Events under ArchI’ve Preserved and Conserved are planned in 2017 in Scotland, Wales, Ireland as well as multiple English cities and regions, such as Cheshire, West Yorkshire, Sheffield and more. Experts from all these nations and regions will be on hand to showcase archive conservation techniques and skills at the campaign launch at the UK House of Lords in Westminster on 27 June.

Conceived by the ARA’s own conservator community, ArchI’ve Preserved and Conserved will showcase the extraordinary range of skills and new innovations that conservators deploy to safeguard the documentary heritage of these islands and preserve them for future generations. Examples include the repair and rehabilitation of fragile paper and vellum parchment rolls, ancient seals, wheat starch and cyclododecan to the conservation of more modern images, book-bindings, maps, and more.

John Chambers, ARA’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“I am delighted that the archive conservator community is getting more visibility for its outstanding – in fact vital – role in the protection of the documentary heritage of the UK and Republic of Ireland. Without their commitment and dedication, much of this priceless heritage – whether at national, regional or local level - would be in danger. Yet members of the public and their representatives are generally unaware of the crucial role conservators play.

Along with archivists and records managers working in the public sector, many conservators have borne the brunt of resource cuts in recent years. So I hope that as many MPs, Peers and members of the record-keeping community as possible will show their support and interest and pop along to the launch of ArchI’ve Preserved and Conserved in Westminster on 27 June, and attend one or more of the campaign events elsewhere later in the year. I should add our sincere gratitude to the UK Parliamentary Archives for their help and support in planning the launch event”

Huw Bonner, Conservation Officer at The National Library of Wales, and one of the campaign organisers and participants added:

"Our documentary heritage is our history - our present and our future. Conservators use their skill and knowledge preserve and conserve documents in their many formats.

As archive conservators, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of safeguarding, and nurturing traditional archive conservation skills, including in the digital age. ArchI’ve Preserved and Conserved will highlight the important role the conservator has in preserving the physical wellbeing of documents, by stabilising and making them accessible to be digitised for the benefit of future generations.

Without the expert intervention of the traditional conservator it would be impossible to digitise any documentary collection in its entirety. "

Further Information

Elin-Hâf 01970 632471 or

Notes for Editors

The Westminster launch event will take place in Committee Room G, House of Lords, on 27 June, from 2pm to 5pm. MPs, Peers, their staff and contacts, all conservators and any ARA members wishing to attend should contact  

Explore Your Archive is owned by the archives and records-management community across the UK and Republic of Ireland. It is currently administered jointly by the ARA and the UK National Archives, in partnership with (public sector) bodies in Wales, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the English regions, as well as partners and practitioners in the private and voluntary sectors, including the Business Archives Council. Further details on the campaign can be found at

The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) acts is the leading professional and membership body for archivists, records managers and conservators in the British Isles. It currently has around 2,500 members and has been growing steadily for the past five years. For further details, including how to join, visit: