Learning Zone Home

Learning Zone
London Metropolitan Archives
Theatreland Look at London schooLMAte Archive Work Data Online Learning Zone Home
Careers Focus: What jobs can you do?
Quiz Careers Notes
Tim: Conservation

Liz and Tim

Conservation

'I like working in an archive because you see some really cool things like a beautiful, handwritten, Elizabethan book about sewers, to a Victorian executioner's business card, to a collection of letters from all over the world at the outbreak of the second world war, and many of the objects in the collection are in a terrible state so I feel as though I am doing something worthwhile.'

'Finding interesting and unusual objects in the archive is something which makes the job interesting.'

Patient, Safety Conscious, Organised, Precise, Co-ordination

Tim's job as a conservator often involves him in painstaking work repairing documents. He deals with a wide range of materials including photographs, prints and drawings. The job of the conservator is not to make something like new, but to make sure it is strong so people can see it and use it. The marks, stains and tears in a document are part of its history and tell their own story.

Liz is a Senior Conservator. Her work involves ensuring that the work undertaken in the studio runs smoothly and safely. She is also involved in assessing damaged items, deciding whether to remove them from public access to avoid further damage. She decides what kind of treatments the documents need and estimates how long that will take.

Liz raises awareness about the need to care for documents and offers training courses for staff and members of the public, demonstrating the best way to handle and store fragile documents.

In depth interview