Head of stock preservation

Conservation at the University Library

The conservation department at the University Library Basel is responsible for the preservation of the entire physical library stocks for current as well as future users.

The department looks after the manuscripts, printed works, bequests and maps of the historical holdings at the library as well as the archive material of the Swiss Economics Archive.

The duties of the conservation department are divided into the areas of prevention, stabilising conservation, restoration as well as book binding.

Firstly, the conservation team carries out its conservational work itself and is thereby directly involved in the conservation of cultural assets. Secondly, it organises and coordinates interdisciplinary conservation projects and checks the integration of conservation measures in the area of library processes. The University Library Basel understands conservation as a holistic library process, the success of which is dependent not only on book restorers, but also employees and users.

Besides having the responsibility for the conservation of the holdings at the University Library, the conservation department staff also advise libraries and archives in the Basel library network on conservation queries.

In addition, the University Library is also responsible for the education of professional trainees – regularly offering pre-study internships, or study internship placements.

Tasks of the conservation department

  • Emergency planning
  • Inspections and, when necessary, adjustments to the environmental conditions, for example through climate and pest control, security and light protection concepts or the cleaning of the closed stacks
  • Conservational support of inter-library lending and internal exhibitions
  • Conducting major conservational projects for the systematic care of the collections
  • Preparation of objects for digitisation
  • Conducting complex individual restorations
  • Decontamination of mould-infested objects
  • Journal binding
  • Repairing damaged books
  • Planning and coordination of all book conservation projects within the library
  • Planning and coordination of conservation science development projects
  • Advising libraries and archives within the Basel library network