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Subject: Handling materials on television

Handling materials on television

From: Shirley Jones <sjones>
Date: Thursday, July 3, 2003
I watched with great interest on Saturday (June 28, 2003) the BBC's
programme about Shakespeare presented by Michael Wood. The programme
made particular use of original archival material and was put
together intelligently to give a contextual picture of the subject.
However, I was disappointed to see, that when consulting a rather
unwieldy and fragile volume at the PRO neither the archivist nor the
presenter were wearing cotton gloves and nor did they seem to have
much regard for the care which is required when handling such items.
It is disappointing to see representatives of two flagship
institutions in their respective fields set such a poor example to
the public.

At West Yorkshire Archive Service we ask our readers to wear gloves
to protect the documents they have a right, but are privileged to
see. It is difficult to enforce this rule when history programmes
such as these frequently disregard such basic preservation measures.
These history programmes also increase the demand on our archives
and if the public are not educated in how to respect and use them,
they will not be available for the next generation to see.

If anyone else sees examples of bad practice such as this, perhaps
it would be a good idea to let them know, many web sites have
message boards and links to send comments. I have sent mine to both
the BBC and to the Public Record Office.

Shirley Jones
Conservator
West Yorkshire Archive Service
Registry of Deeds
Newstead Road
Wakefield WF1 2DE


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:9
                  Distributed: Thursday, July 3, 2003
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Received on Thursday, 3 July, 2003

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