Every librarian knows how precious books are, so to see them deteriorate in front of our eyes can be very painful. To that end, on Friday, 26th May 2017, the Goethe-Institute Singapore and the NUS Libraries, in collaboration with the Library Association of Singapore, organised a talk by Mr Reinhard Feldmann on the latest trends in preservation and conservation at NUS Central Library. The talk was attended by 58 participants.
Mr Feldmann emphasized the key role all librarians have in preserving heritage and culture through the preservation of various materials. However, preservation is only one key element – continual access to these materials is also an important factor. He shared some interesting images of early printing presses and painstaking preservation techniques. One particular image that caught my eye was a fully restored book, which, after restoration, looked as good as new: the pages and the binding were ‘refreshed’, as though it was printed a few months ago, instead of being hundreds of years old. It was comforting to think that such materials could still be restored so that future generations would be able to access their contents.
The talk also brought up many important factors we must take into account for the continual preservation of materials, such as the uniqueness of the content, conservation management plans, and discarding and retention policies.
With so many things to consider, I went away from the talk with a renewed appreciation for the role of preservation and conservation in my workplace.
Mr Reinhard Feldmann’s presentation slides may be accessed here.
Reported by Debra L’Angellier, NTU Libraries
Submitted by Jenny Wong, Member of Programmes and Social Committee (LAS)