There's a special machine or tool for every possible job in the conservation workshop.
The archives collections can be used for the research of family history, general historic interest or for legal and evidence purposes.
Our archives collections are full of hidden treasures that reveal secrets of East Riding heritage. It's more than just documents and records, it's about looking back into forgotten lifestyles as well as preserving memories of the East Riding today.
It's more than names and places, there are more curious documents and memories collected as well. Can you solve maths questions from 1750? Will you bake a 200-year-old cake fit for a princess? Look at the types of records we hold at East Riding Archives and find out.
On your next visit to the Treasure House, take a look inside the Conservation Workshop next to the Research Room. You might be able to see our Conservator at work preserving or repairing documents.
Conservation involves both reviving documents that are close to ruin and preserving documents in good condition so they remain that way to be accessed by generations to come. We hold many valuable documents and essential records, but some do not arrive in a condition that is ready to be handled. Items could have been found covered in mould, stained by flood waters or met with a number of possible accidents. It is our job to rescue these items. Cleaning and piecing them together again before we can preserve them in special acid-free storage boxes, in environment controlled strongrooms, where they will stand the test of time. Only in this way can we maintain a permanent archive of the East Riding.
Discover how our conservators take care of our collections and tips to preserve your own too.
Conservators look after the physical well-being of historic documents and objects. In particular, archival conservators work with the various formats of historic documents in the form of books, parchment, paper, maps and plans.
We care for the ERA archive by monitoring the condition of the collection and providing a secure and stable storage environment. We assess any new items that come into the building and provide safe archival packaging. We also advise on handling and display.
In addition, we also carry out repairs to damaged documents. These can include
Conservators are specially trained in the craft and science of materials and repair techniques. They follow a code of professional ethics.
While science and modern technology certainly has a place in conservation practice, many of the techniques and tools we use are traditional and would be recognised by the craftspeople who originally created the books and documents we work on.
Conservation is not the same as restoration. We aim for minimal intervention and our job is to preserve documents and the information they contain, not return them to a 'good as new' condition.
Our conservator has shared tips on how you can look after your own documents and handle ours safely.
When you visit the archive to access our documents you will be provided with advice and equipment to enable you to handle documents safely.
Different formats and materials have different needs. We are lucky that the historic paper and parchment people used to write on in the past has stood the test of time, but the same can't be said for a lot of modern paper, photo-reproductive techniques and digital media. Your documents might not be old now but we'd like to give them the chance to be around for future generations!
Tips on how to preserve your own documents: