I opened my first studio in 1990, within the premises of the Royal Asiatic Society in London. Here I spent three years conserving their works of art on paper, archives, rare books and manuscript collections - an experience which provided me with an insight into particular problems associated with large and diverse private collections. As other Learned Societies heard of my work, they began to approach me with projects of their own, and so it was that I founded Preservation Solutions, in order to promote the benefits of an holistic approach to conservation and preservation.
Having worked with a number of collections, I recognised that institutions, from the small to the very large, required an expertise in conservation management which was as yet unavailable: all held important inherited collections of books, art and archives, but few had the resources to finance a full time conservation studio. The curatorial and library staff working within such organisations had a wide range of responsibilities, and needed guidance and support from conservators who possessed a working knowledge of all aspects of preservation. With this in mind, I developed a new approach to conservation on a large-scale, creating long-term programmes of carefully managed treatments, which emphasised the need for pragmatic compromise within collection care. By regarding collection preservation as an important expenditure within the overall annual budget, with its own quarterly targets and objectives, we also helped to raise its status within institutions. This type of approach is encouraged by grant givers, and through its use we have helped many organisations to raise external funding for programmes of conservation and preservation.
Ten years on, and the majority of our work is still within the institutional sector. However, while a number of these contracts are very large, the majority of our work is with small and medium sized libraries, archives and museums. Such collections benefit from our unique mix of practical conservation expertise and proven management experience. Since 1995 we have been based near Saffron Walden in Essex, a location convenient for London, East Anglia and the Midlands. Until 2003 we were based in a light industrial unit in part of a large, converted Maltings, but in order to improve security we have now constructed a purpose-built studio building on private land. We employ up to a dozen sub-contracted paper and book conservator-restorers, each with their own areas of specialism. Some individuals work within the studio, where they concentrate on flat work, while others are employed as part of the various teams that carry out insitu conservation within collections. The range and extent of our combined experience in the fields of archive and library collection conservation and preservation is second to none, and includes four fully accredited conservator-restorers. This website, which will be familiar to those who have seen our latest brochure, details many of the services that we at Preservation Solutions can offer.
Director of Preservation Solutions
"Over the last 10 years, our paper conservation projects have ranged in size from £30 to £30,000. We have found that nothing is too small to matter, or too large to cope with."