Conservation of Documents - Publications - Library and Archives Canada
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Conservation of Documents

The Archives develops and applies specialized methods for maintaining records, preventing their deterioration, and restoring those that have been damaged. Research on conservation methods provides a better understanding of how records deteriorate, how further deterioration can be prevented, and how deteriorated records can be most effectively restored.


Preserving our Endangered Heritage

The films, videos and sound recordings that constitute Canada's audio-visual heritage are quickly deteriorating, disappearing or becoming inaccessible. The Task Force on the Preservation and Enhanced Use of Canada's Audio-Visual Heritage, formed in 1994 under the leadership of the National Archives of Canada to study this problem and recommend realistic solutions, has just released its report entitled Fading Away: Strategic Options to Ensure the Protection of and Access to our Audio-Visual Memory.

This report contains an across-Canada strategy developed by the concerned public and private sectors, and follows an extensive consultation process. It favours cooperation, decentralization, preventive conservation and an integrated, holistic view of the management of heritage holdings. More precisely, it recommends the creation of a Consortium of stakeholders and a shared responsibility for the identification and safeguarding of the audio-visual heritage, an improved infrastructure for the storage and preservation of audio-visual materials, a feasibility study on regional storage facilities, and the creation of a unique centre for technical services for obsolete formats. In addition, the report recommends the creation of a preservation fund and the allocation of transitional resources through direct funding and cost-shared programs to safeguard past and recent works and to better deal with technological changes in the future.

This strategy for the preservation of and access to our audio-visual memory, recently presented to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, is a significant contribution by Canada to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of cinema.