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Conservators' Role in Digitization

- Head of Conservation and Collection Care of Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University, Invited to the NDL's 27th Forum on Preservation -

On December 7, 2016, the NDL held the 27th forum on preservation at the Tokyo Main Library, under the theme of "Preservation in Digital Age."

Ms. Virginia Lladó-Buisán, Head of Conservation and Collection Care of the Bodleian Libraries (link to Bodleian Libraries website), Oxford University, was invited to give a lecture on the roles of the conservator in the digitization programs.

The photo of the audience of the 27th forum on preservationPortrait of Ms. Virginia Lladó-Buisán

The Bodleian Libraries are among the oldest libraries in Europe, and are second in size only to the British Library in the U.K., holding more than 12 million printed items. The Conservation and Collection Care Department works to preserve, stabilize and improve access to the Bodleian Libraries' collections through preventive programs, interventive treatments, research, and by supporting an ongoing exhibitions program. It has also been involved in various digitization projects such as the Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project and the John Johnson Project (link to Bodleian Libraries website).

Results of Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project explained in the PDF below

Ms. Lladó-Buisán said that through these and several other projects, they are learning and shaping their idea of the role of the conservator. As conservators, they aim to make the physical collections their priority for their institution, whilst they support the business priorities (e.g., digitization programs) with their expertise on the collections. At the same time she stressed that despite the emphasis placed on the virtual library, physical collections are the subject of the digital world: ultimately they are important to the people because they define our identity.

Her lively lecture based on actual experience inspired the audience, mostly from libraries and archives, and was followed by an active question and answer session. Read more details:


Photo of the John Johnson Project explained in the PDF above

The Preservation Forum also included reports from Mr. Keitaro Tokoi (Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo) and Mr. Yukinobu Takahashi (NDL).

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