Preservation and conservation specialists learned about the latest best practices in a training course organized in Morocco by Qatar National Library, in its role as IFLA’s Regional Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Centre, and UNESCO.
The three-day program was held from 3 – 5 December in collaboration with the National Archives of Morocco, and was attended by books and manuscripts conservation specialists from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.
Entitled, ‘Practical Methods for the Scientific Examination of Library Objects,’ the course focused on technical photography of heritage collections and the technique of reflectance spectroscopy. Technical photography represents a collection of images taken with a modified digital camera, and uses different lighting sources and filters to acquire a selection of images, with each providing unique information about the object under examination. Reflectance spectroscopy is an effective technique in identifying pigments and reveals information vital to preserving historical items.
Stephane Ipert, Preservation and Conservation Manager at Qatar National Library, said: “In our role as IFLA’s Regional Preservation and Conservation Centre, we continue to initiate programs in partnership with relevant institutions. We aim to equip experts with the latest skills in conservation and preservation of historical manuscripts, and are pleased to see specialists from across the region attending the workshop.”
Qatar National Library was selected as IFLA’s Regional PAC Centre in 2015, and now supports libraries across the MENA region to safeguard documentary heritage in its diverse forms and formats.
“The state-of-the-art digitization centre at Qatar National Library is working with partners in Qatar and the region to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Qatar and in libraries throughout the Arab region, and to raise awareness about conservation of rare books, manuscripts and documents,” added Mr. Ipert.
This course follows on from a similar training session, which was organized in Qatar in March 2018 at Qatar National Library, and was attended by conservation and preservation experts from several Arab countries and Turkey.