At the RUSI Library of Military History we like to approach conservation as non-invasively as possible.
Wherever we can we use the principles of preservation to maintain our collections. This means keeping our books clean, free of infestations and mould and at the correct temperature and relative humidity to extend the life of a book. And to that end some of our volunteers from the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies have been trained to make bespoke boxes for our damaged and fragile books.
Phase boxes, so called because they are the first phase of conservation, provide a secure and protected environment for a damaged book. Made with acid free card, natural glue and archival tape each box is individually made to fit the book exactly. This is a time consuming task but the team have been working tirelessly and are doing a great job of working through our collection of damaged books. In the long term, this will mean that the lifespan of the book will be longer and that it can be read, enjoyed and used well into the future, preserving our unique and valuable collection for future generations of researchers.