Event Factfile -

Great Broughton Village Hall

Illustrated Talk

Monday 20th February 2012

Rachel Greenwood

Archive Conservator

Preserving Our History and Your Documents

She described her work as the conservator at the office and showed pictures of a few examples from the collections and some of their more common conservation needs. One of her major projects was in partnership with the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society working on a collection of 8000 muster rolls charting all who sailed out of Whitby from 1745-1818.


She then explained some of the basic principles of conservation, minimal intervention, carrying out the least amount work necessary to make stable and accessible the information contained on an item without changing the original character or makeup and causing no long-term harm.


She described the different materials and  work in the archives, and related that work to the care of our precious items. She dealt in some length dealing with the constant threat from the same ten agents of deterioration, physical forces, fire, water, criminals, pests, contaminants and neglect, describing how they can affect an archive and which items are most susceptible. We were then given advice on how best to protect items from these insults.


Rachel had brought with her a number of items for the protection of precious papers and other objects, that were available to purchase from the CRO


The interest of the members was such that Rachel barely had time to drink her coffee during the break between answering the multitude of questions.


In a fascinating talk, Rachel gave us an overview of the County Records Office at Northallerton and the work it undertakes. The CRO is a purpose adapted building with a deceptively small frontage which leads to a vast area containing a public search room and offices leading to 5 environmentally controlled repositories fitted out with over 10miles of shelving containing a diverse and extensive collection of records on various media and formats.