Last week Jane Kirby (Old Bedalian and Volunteer Archivist) and Ian Douglas (Librarian) attended a conservation workshop arranged by the School Archivists Group. This organisation brings together staff and volunteers working in over 250 independent schools, who between them share responsibility for looking after a vital part of the national heritage.
Top of the bill on this occasion was expert advice on preserving photographs, film and textiles. Jane and Ian can now confidently distinguish an albumen print from a silver gelatin print, and understand their different preservation needs. We have also been cautiously sniffing our film collection for signs of the dreaded ‘vinegar syndrome’.
In our own recent conservation work, Jane has been making bespoke light-proof boxes, to protect some early Bedalians’ photo albums. Ian has conserved and rebound this 1930s diary written by Dunhurst pupils.