The State Library is committed to preserving collections for future generations. Conservators use specialist techniques to care for items, including preventative measures such as monitoring the environment, an integrated pest management program, ensuring proper storage conditions according to the nature of the items, and training staff in the careful handling of objects. Where appropriate we also undertake conservation treatments by carrying out technical and scientific assessment on objects and stabilising the materials and structure of damaged objects. Conservators look at the social, cultural and historical context of items to assist with making ethical treatment decisions.

Preserving Your Items - Frequently Asked Questions

This greatly depends on the what the object is made from and how it is constructed. Explore the following collection care guides for specific information on caring for your object.

Firstly, it is important to identify the object’s characteristics and how they can be safely digitised. You may be able to digitise the object yourself or use a commercial option.

If you are digitising the object yourself, have a look at the video ‘Caring for collections: How to digitise your collections’

More information for both digitising the object yourself and using a digitisation service can be found in the State Library of Queensland’s Digitisation Toolkit.

We are unable to give advice on conservation treatment of items and the State Library does not offer a commercial conservation service or endorse specific private conservation practitioners. If you require a conservation treatment to be undertaken, a list of conservators in private practice is available on the Australian Institute for the Conservation Cultural Materials (AICCM) website. It is recommended that you read the Guidelines for Commissioning Conservation Treatment first. 

If your objects have been affected by fire, flood, mould or pests there are steps you can take when salvaging your precious objects. Blue Shield Australia and the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material both provide detailed information that outlines steps to assist in disaster recovery.

Collecting and preserving Western Australian social and documentary heritage through photographs, films, oral histories, music, maps, newspapers and post office directories. View highlights and learn more about the historical collection.
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