Preservation and Conservation Conference, UKZN Special Collections, 26-28 September 2017

Posted on January 01, 2018

Sonto Mabena, information specialist for Special Collections, attended and presented a paper at the 3-day Preservation and Conservation Conference held at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), 26 – 28 September 2017.  This conference was jointly hosted by UKZN and the South African Preservation and Conservation Group (SAPCON). It was attended by special collections librarians, archivists and museums curators.  

The topic of Sonto’s presentation was ‘Identifying challenges in the selection of material for digitisation’. The topics covered ranged from curriculum development and training to pest management, from air conditioning in the building and mould prevention to disaster preparedness & management. Other topics included digitisation, storage handling care, scientific techniques for preserving paper and the challenges of managing a personal archive.  Preservation and conservation focus on the ways in which to maintain and prolong the life of a collection.

Highlights of the conference:

The conference took place at the two UKZN campuses:  Durban on the 26th and 28th September 2017 and Pietermaritzburg on the 27th September 2017.

  1. The conference took place at the two UKZN campuses:  Durban on the 26th and 28th September 2017 and Pietermaritzburg on the 27th September 2017.
  2. There were two keynote speakers at both venues. Mr Alexio Motsi - National Archives of South Africa National and Chairperson of Sapcon and  Anil Nauriya, Advocate at the Supreme Court of India, New Delhi & Independent Scholar.
  3. Mr Alexio Motsi has experienced the handling of ancient manuscripts in Timbuktu, Mali.
  4. Delegates had the opportunity to undertake a tour in each city: the KZN Archives Repository in Pietermaritzburg and Msunduzi Museums.
  5. Vendor presentations showcased products that can be used for storage, preservation and scanning purposes.
  6. The technique of drying wet books was the most valuable lesson learned at the conference.

Sonto would like to thank the Department of Library Services in the person of Ms Lindiwe Soyizwapi for the opportunity to attend the conference as it was a unique and a great experience!

- Author Sonto Mabena

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