Lecture – Preservation at the Swiss National Library- Three Approaches

Posted on Sep 19, 2014

Please join us for a talk on October 21st at 5:00pm at the Folger Shakespeare Library in the Board Room.

Andre Eugene Page, Head of Preservation and Conservation at the Swiss National Library, Berne, Switzerland Folger exterior sunny
“Collection Preservation at the Swiss National Library”
Reception with wine and cheese to follow.
Please rsvp to rsvpconserve@folger.edu

Space is limited to 50 attendees

Preservation at the Swiss National Library – Three Approaches

Preserving a single object is a challenge but what about the preservation of an entire collection?

The collections at the Swiss National Library (NL) amount to more than 5 million objects with books being only a part of the vast array of materials. A federal law mandates the NL preserve these collections. With the construction of climate controlled subterranean vaults and the deacidification of the book collection the NL has already secured a solid base for the sustainability of its collections. Looking at the diversity of the artifacts, a more targeted approach was necessary to optimize and define the preservation of these materials. In the last ten years three projects were implemented in the field of preservation. These projects have enabled the NL to better prioritize procedures and actions.

The collection assessment describes the physical condition of the collections. One to two percent of all objects were observed and examined according to a number of criteria. The result relays merely a statistical overview.  The quantitative analysis of the composition of the prints and drawings collection provided a material overview while considering the urgency of action necessary for the artifacts.  The future analysis of preservation measures for the photographic material will allow for determining preservation needs with a detailed projection for storage and individual treatments.

Andre Page is Head of the Preservation and Conservation Section at the Swiss National Library.
Andre graduated with a Magister Artium in Conservation of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1988 and with a Master of Advanced Studies in Arts Management of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in 2008. He worked as a paper conservator in the museum’s field in Switzerland and Germany until 2001. Shortly after, he joined the National Library of New Zealand as Senior Paper Conservator where he was able to develop one of his passions; integrating cultural aspects into conservation of collection items. In 2005 Andre moved back to Switzerland where he first took on the role as Head of the Service Conservation at the Swiss National Library. It was during this time that many of the measures he will be talking about, Preservation at the Swiss National Library – Three Approaches, had been implemented.  Andre is a former president of IADA (International Association for Paper and Book conservators).