The mission of the State Archives involves preserving historical sources. Every day, at the State Archives we spare no effort to properly store and preserve documents which are entrusted to us.
The best way of protecting archival materials used by the State Archives is prevention, including proper storage and use, proper management of the environmental conditions in our storage facilities, as well as preventive conservation.
However, these measures are not always sufficient. If the damage is severe enough, specialized conservation procedures may prove necessary. The State Archives network comprises various conservation laboratories:
- Large-scale conservation laboratories,
- Individual conservation laboratories,
- Central Archival Materials Conservation Laboratory.
The individual conservation laboratories perform specialist conservation procedures which restore the usability and aesthetic qualities of archival materials.
The large-scale conservation laboratories focus on restoring large amounts of 19th and 20th-century documents which have acidified due to external and internal factors.
The Central Archival Materials Conservation Laboratory is an expert department focusing on conserving and preserving archival collections – in particular paper and parchment documents and wax seals. The Central Archival Materials Conservation Laboratory provides its services to the entire State Archives network, which include consulting, training and conducting research.
The conservation laboratories do not only conserve archival materials, but are also involved in:
- preparing materials for exhibitions and being made available in reading rooms,
- assessing risks related to sharing, exhibiting and storing archival materials in poor environmental condition,
- offering conservation consulting for registered public institutions (as part of the State Archives’ supervisory function, for example), as well as private individuals as part of the Family Archives of Independent Poland project.
The conservation laboratories of the State Archives network do not offer commercial services – their purpose is solely to preserve the holdings of the State Archives.