The Chester Beatty Library has a dedicated Conservation Laboratory that specialises in book and paper conservation. Conservation staff play a vital role in protecting the artistic and cultural heritage of Chester Beatty’s remarkable Collections. They not only ensure that the Collections are safeguarded during handling, transport, storage and display, but also work closely with curators on major projects to conserve material of particular importance. The conservators are involved in almost every aspect of museum activities, from working on loans and exhibitions and undertaking important research to organising public lectures and tours and providing training for staff, volunteers, interns and summer placement students.
All conservation treatments are governed by a policy of minimum intervention to ensure the historical integrity of the object is maintained. Due to the wide variety of material in the Library, specialist conservators are consulted to treat materials such as textiles and ceramics. All work is carried out in accordance with a strict professional code of conduct. Staff undertake technical examination and research, and attend conferences and workshops, all of which contributes to a better understanding of the Library’s objects and the development of practical conservation techniques. This information is disseminated through training interns, professional publications, lectures and the Library’s education programme.