British Library Preservation Advisory Centre

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The National Preservation Office was established by the British Library Board in 1984;[1] in 2009 it was renamed the British Library Preservation Advisory Centre. The Centre's function is to raise public awareness of preservation issues in libraries and to serve as a nexus for developing and promoting improved preservation management of library and archive materials in the UK and Ireland.[2]

Purpose and activities[edit]

The need for national entities like the Centre has been documented in surveys conducted by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Section on Preservation & Conservation and by the Ligue Internationale des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherches. Other than the United Kingdom, at least seven other countries have set up a similar entity, including Canada and New Zealand.[3]

The Preservation Advisory Centre's mission is expressed in hortatory goals, but its work is focused on practical results. It aims to create strategic policy framework for preserving current library collections, and addressing issues arising as congruent digital collections evolve:[4]

  • To assist cultural heritage agencies and organizations develop strategies for the preservation of cultural heritage assets in museums, libraries and archives, including the further development of the "Preservation Assessment Survey" (PAS)[5] and training in the use of the PAS tools
  • To provide print and web-based information services for individuals and organizations, especially for collections throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.
  • To provide training in preservation management for individuals and organizations including relevant training in the following areas: introduction to preservation management; disaster management; environmental control and monitoring.[6]

The Centre maintains a PAS database and publishes an annual digest and report.[7]

Institutional support[edit]

The governing Board is composed of representatives from eleven institutions; and a corollary Advisory Board includes more than twice that number. Shared-interests bring together a number of disparate contributors and points-of-view, including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marshall, Vanessa. "Collection Care in Libraries Today," Digital Preservation Resources Symposium (2001)
  2. ^ About Preservation Advisory Centre
  3. ^ Foot, Mirjam. (1997) "Paper: Towards a National Preservation Policy," 63rd IFLA General Conference (Copenhagen).
  4. ^ Beagrie, N. et al. (1998) "A Strategic Policy Framework for Creating and Preserving Digital Collections." British Library Research and Innovation Report 107.
  5. ^ PAS overview
  6. ^ goals & objectives
  7. ^ NPO/PAS reports
  • Beagrie, N. and D. Greenstein. (1998) "A Strategic Policy Framework for Creating and Preserving Digital Collections." British Library Research and Innovation Report 107. London: British Library.
  • Bennett, J.C. (1997) "A Framework of Data Types and Formats, and Issues Affecting the Long Term Preservation of Digital Material." British Library Research and Innovation Report 50. London: British Library.
  • Clements. (1986). "The National Preservation Office in the British Library," IFLA Journal (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions). 12:25-32.
  • Feeney, Mary, ed. (1999). Digital Culture: Maximizing the Nation's Investment. London: National Preservation Office, The British Library.
  • Haynes, D., D. Streatfield, T. Jowett., and M. Blake. (1997). "Responsibility for Digital Archiving and Long-term Access to Digital Data." British Library Research and Innovation Report 67. The British Library, London: United Kingdom.
  • Hendley. T. (1998). "Comparison of Methods and Costs of Digital Preservation." British Library Research and Innovation Report 106. London: United Kingdom.
  • Matthews, G., A. Poulter, and E. Blagg. "Preservation of Digital Materials Policy and Strategy Issues for the UK." British Library Research and Innovation Report 41. London: United Kingdom. 1997.
  • Ross, S. and A. Gow. (1999). "Digital Archaeology: The Recovery of Digital Materials at Risk." British Library Research and Innovation Report 108. London: United Kingdom. 1999.
  • Stephens, David O. "Digital preservation in the United Kingdom," Information Management Journal, October 2000.

External links[edit]