Preservation priorities during archival relocation or renovation

  • Emily Alice Gale

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


This study has provided an oppourtunity to examine the preservation priorities of relocating archives in Wales. It has involved interviews and surveys at four archive case studies to find out how big a part preservation plays in relocation.
It aims to find out what the preservation priorities within local government archives are, whether these are the same throughout Wales and if priorities have changed over the last five years following national economic developments. It looks at how relocations are funded and if this impacts the effect on preservation of archival materials held, whilst also discovering how much prior research on preservation the archives have undertaken and how big a factor preservation is as a factor in the move.
The results show that preservation in local government archives is not usually the deciding factor in relocation but that a move gives an opportunity to greatly enhance the preservation conditions and improve the functionality of the archive. The case studies demonstrate a variety of approaches to archival preservation during relocation in a range of circumstances which helps us to acknowledge that all archives are unique and must be approached as such. The priorities of the archives are broadly comparable in their aim to meet professional preservation standards and to provide access to the public. The case studies show that with careful planning and research along with strong communication throughout the process, within the archive community as well as with architects and constructors, a successful relocation can be achieved on a variety of budgets and timescales whilst maintaining archival preservation of collections. This study has reinforced the view that the archival building itself is a key preservation feature and when this is not suitable it affects other preservation factors
Date of Award2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorSarah Higgins (Supervisor)

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