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Thursday 26 December ,2019

The National Archives establishes Its Preservation and Restoration Corner at the “Memory of the Nation” pavilion at Sheikh Zayed Festival

The National Archives establishes Its Preservation and Restoration Corner at the “Memory of the Nation” pavilion at Sheikh Zayed Festival

The National Archives has established its preservation and restoration corner at the “Memory of the Nation” pavilion at Sheikh Zayed Festival. The corner fully briefs visitors on the National Archives role in preserving and restoring documents, the role which its Preservation and Restoration Center is already performing as it restores various types of vulnerable or aging documents at risk of damage to safeguard and utilize their valuable content.

The preservation and restoration corner aims at spreading awareness among the public about the importance of maintaining and ensuring proper storing conditions for historical documents or preserving them at the National Archives as part of the Memory of the Nation to support academics and researchers' efforts to document the UAE history. If a document's condition deteriorates, i.e.  starts getting poor and vulnerable to damage, it should be preserved rather than disposed of, and concerned parties should seek the National Archives' professional help for its restoration since historical facts depend mainly on historical documents and records.

The Preservation and Restoration Corner acquaints visitors with proper methods for documents preservation and restoration in case of damage. The corner has the main important tools for document restoration including adhesive material, brushes and document cleaning solutions.

The corner emphasize to visitors that preservation of historical documents is a separate science in itself, with its own techniques that prolong the document lifespan. Specialists at the corner educate visitors about the main document or record damage causes; namely: poor storage or handling and frequent and improper use. In case of damage, restoration is deemed the primary stage in preserving documents employing sterilization, disinfestation, disinfection and mould treatments. The restoration process might be undertaken partially or fully based on the size and extent of document damage, through which process necessary measures are taken including the filling in, as well as other refurbishing and repairing techniques used for treatment of documents missing parts and thickening of paper density.

Furthermore, Shaikha Al Sawafi from the National Archives Center for Preservation and Restoration practically demonstrated to the visiting public successful and simple restoration process of some damaged newspapers, where she pointed out the importance of cleaning the documents to be restored following which, she added that glue and acid free adhesive tapes are used during restoration process to patch tears and holes. Al Sawafi presented a number of papers used in restoration such as the Japanese paper made from kozo, insulating paper that protect the document during treatment and cleaning materials such as ethanol, distilled water and acetone. She also pointed out the importance of preventive precautions during that document cleaning and restoration process; namely, using gloves and masks for hand and face protection. She also showed the audience the glue brushes and other dusting brushes used in the process.