Conservation of the collections

The BNU has a particular role to play in terms of heritage; one of its missions is to ensure the conservation and long-term preservation of the documentary production and heritage items it acquires or that are entrusted to it.

The BNU is associated with the National Library of France (Bibliothèque Nationale de France - BnF) in its capacity as depositary for legal deposits made by printers in Alsace, and as such is responsible for ensuring the long-term safekeeping of works printed in the Region. As the national reference library in certain disciplines (Germanic cultural area, religious sciences, Alsace-related items) and as a specialist centre in other fields (European issues, arts, classical ancient history), the library has to be able to guarantee that students and teaching and research staff, of both French and other nationalities, have lasting access to these documents, some of which are unique in France, if not the world.

While work is being carried out on the New BNU, a number of substantial projects are under way in connection with the conservation of the collections: the reconditioning of the collections of periodicals (particularly old newspapers), the protection of works readers may access freely, the reconditioning of the ostraca collections, and continuation of putting the papyrus collections under glass. Alongside these major operations, the team of four art technicians in the BNU's restoration workshop will be continuing their work on restoring early works and documents, while the development of digitisation will make it possible to improve the conservation of the collections.

To ensure the best possible protection for the collections in the event of an incident occurring (damage caused by water, fire, the development of mould, etc), the BNU has developed an intervention guide that details the procedures to follow in order to deal with the problem quickly and effectively). This document is updated and improved regularly, and library staff receive specific training on emergency action.

Conservation of the collections must also be considered from the viewpoint of coordinating competencies and responsibilities at the regional and national levels. A study on the matter of the shared conservation of the collections of the universities in Alsace is currently being carried out by one of the library's curators, occupying a post located at the BNU but supported in conjunction with the University of Strasbourg (UdS) and the University of Upper Alsace (UHA). The BNU does not currently, however, have any mission to conserve electronic and digital documentation.

Director for Conservation and Heritage
Frédéric Blin
tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 28 18

Assistant Director for Conservation and Heritage
Gisela Bélot
tel.: +33 (0)3 88 25 28 32

Manager of Shared Conservation Mission
Annie Luce-Heymann

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