Planning, Preservation and Discoveries
Based in the heart the of the Old Town, Edinburgh City Archives hold the important and varied records of Scotland's Capital City. In August 2010, with help from the National Records of Scotland Conservation Department, Edinburgh City Archives completed the review of a sample of 395 items from across their collections. Undertaking a Preservation Assessment Survey is no small task but the benefits are many. Survey results offer an overview of:
- Practice e.g. storage, environment, emergency response, handling, security and surrogacy.
- The usability of the collection – an assessment of the proportion of material at high and low risk through use.
- The condition of sample items including type and extent of damage.
- The significance of the collection; to the institution and more widely.
In the case of Edinburgh City Archives, the Preservation Assessment Survey brought the discovery of two rare manuscripts and offered robust evidence in support of a new storage facility for its collections.
The National Trust for Scotland conserves and cares for over 50 buildings with collections displayed in-situ in their original contexts. Many Trust buildings have important and historic interiors and unique collections of furniture, paintings and decorative objects. They also care for about a dozen properties which have collections of historic archive material.
In response to the fire at the Glasgow School of Art in 2014, the National Trust for Scotland has begun to re-evaluate how they will respond to similar emergencies. The Trust has established the Emergency Planning for Collections project.