National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Conservation Services Branch

Conservation Services Branch

The Conservation Services Branch (CSB), based at Thomas Thomson House, is responsible for the physical care of records. The spacious and well equipped conservation studio enables the highly skilled and trained staff to care for and maintain the physical well being of the very diverse National Records of Scotland (NRS) archive collection: books, documents, photographic material, seals, objects, maps and plans, modern media.

Preservation and Conservation

The ephemeral, delicate nature of the objects within any collection, be they paper documents, parchment manuscripts, leather-bound books or glass-plate photographic negatives, is constantly at risk of degradation from internal and external causes.

Montage of images of conservation work Preservation concentrates on slowing down the degradation and preventing damage to collections by passive methods such as environmental conditioning and monitoring. Conservation, instead, concerns direct intervention treatments designed to prolong the life of an object. As the historic integrity of every item within the collection is paramount, the materials used are acid-free and conservation grade and all techniques are reversible.

CSB performs a variety of functions to supports access and ensures that the records can be made available to the public where possible. To ensure the preservation of the material, surrogates in the form of digital images are often made available to the users.

The Conservation Services Branch can offer impartial professional advice to owners and record keepers on conservation and preservation of archival material. Contact us by emailing preservation@nrscotland.gov.uk.

Read our Conservation Policy and Fragile Records Policy.

Information on conservators working privately can be found on the Conservation Register website.