BS 4971:2017 pdf download – Conservation and care of archive and library collections
4 Conservation policy and planning4.1General
The collecting body should set out its conservation policy and strategy, which define objectives andactions and how it will protect and preserve its collections, in accordance with 4.2 and 4.3.Thesedocuments should be reviewed at least once every five years as part of the planning process.
COMMENTARY ON 4.2
A conservation policy is one of the essential corporate documents required by all collecting bodies and isintended to exist alongside and in association with other related policies.
The collecting body should define a conservation policy for the collections it holds and is planning tohold.The conservation policy should contain as a minimum:
a) a statement of purpose of the collecting body, including its intention to protect and preserve
b) a commitment to develop an understanding of the nature and needs of the collections and to use
this to inform a conservation strategy that aims to help it achieve its purpose;
c) a statement that sets out its commitment to seeking and maintaining the necessary resourcesthat allows it to carry out its conservation strategy, including long term growth of collections an dformats as appropriate; and
d) statements covering its aims for access, retention, handling,copying and sustainability (such asan energy policy ) relating to the conservation of its collections.
4.3 Conservation strategy defines how the collecting body aims to achieve the goals set out in itsconservation policy.
The collecting body should develop and maintain a conservation strategy for the collections it holds.The conservation strategy should cover the following as a minimum:
a) an assessment of collections and specific materials within them, that defines their scale, nature,physical vulnerability and general condition;
b) an analysis of the environmental needs of material types in the collection and provision for the development of appropriate and sustainable storage and handling environments;
c) identification and evaluation of risks to the collections, defining hazards, their impact and likelihood and any measures that can be taken to remove or reduce these hazards;
d) definition and prioritization of the actions and measures necessary to protect and preserve collections and items in storage and in use; and
e) development of a set of procedures for storage, handling and use of collections.
5 Preventive conservation5.1 Environments for storage
COMMENTARY ON 5.1
The primary means of conserving archive collections is by storing them in a building that provides a safeenvironment and has structural qualities that protect them from fire, water, theft and other hazards.The relationship between the storage environment and the climate in which materials are used is alsoa major consideration. Standards for the construction or refurbishment of storage and other relatedspaces for heritage collections can be found in BS EN 16893.
This clause is divided into recommendations for the storage of traditional archive materials (includingbooks, parchment and paper) and separate recommendations for photographic, audio-visual andelectronic media.
5.1.1Selecting a storage environment
Although no single set of environmental conditions is ideal for storing every type of archive
material, to slow the rate of decay of all archive material there should be an emphasis on keeping thetemperature low and the relative humidity (RH) moderate as defined in this clause. Some unstablematerials should be placed in cold storage if they are to be maintained in their original format[see 188.8.131.52].
The selection of a suitable storage environment for an archive or library collection should be basedon the range of materials that it contains and on the long-term sustainability of maintaining thoseenvironments. Some very sensitive archive materials (such as cellulose acetate photographs andmoving image film) require different conditions from most other traditional archive materials and soshould be placed separately in the storage environments defined in 5.1.4.
To ascertain the likely vulnerability of different materials, a survey of the collections should be
undertaken and updated periodically. This survey should cover the materials, formats, their conditionand the extent and quality of their physical protection (boxes and envelopes, etc).The informationgenerated from the survey should inform conservation policy and strategy (see 4.2 and 4.3 ), startingwith environmental considerations.
The specification process for constructing an appropriate building environment should be inaccordance with PD 5454 (until superseded by BS EN 16893).
All storage and other spaces where collections are held should be monitored in accordance withPD 5454 (until superseded by BS EN 16893).
NOTE See Annex A and the further reading section of the bibliography for resources which give more informationon the nature and deterioration of archive materials.
5.1.2 Environmental stability
Buildings and rooms intended for the storage of archive materials should be in accordance withPD 5454(until superseded by BS EN 16893).Their construction should inhibit or prevent externaltemperature influences and minimize internal heat sources, providing thermal stability, maximizingair tightness and having no internal sources of moisture. Seasonal temperature changes inside the repository should adjust as slowly as possible, within the selected parameters, in order tostabilize RH.BS 4971 pdf download.