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Glossary of terms

What's the difference between restoration, preservation and conservation? Why does the word 'cataloguing' mean different things to different people? The staff at the LMA will tell you all about the words and phrases they encounter on a daily basis.



Treatments that physically alter an item in order to stabilise and preserve it. Processes commonly carried out at LMA and CLRO are; surface cleaning, mould removal, re-sizing, paper repair and lining. Professional conservators are guided by a code of ethics.


Preservation includes activities which aim to slow down the chemical deterioration of materials as well as prevent physical damage, loss or destruction. This may involve temperature and humidity control, archival packaging, pest monitoring and training in handling and security.


Aims to make something 'look as good as new'. Restoration generally involves treating the aesthetic appearance of an item and may not have any impact on its long-term stability or preservation.