The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 13, Number 8
Dec 1989


The Archival Aids Conservation Award

Archival Aids is a company trading in the United Kingdom, serving libraries and archives by supplying materials, chemicals and equipment used in conservation. Since 1984 they have collaborated with the Society of Archivists (UK) in sponsoring an annual award for innovatory conservation, by which is meant the invention of a new process, the application of an existing process in a new way, or the significant improvement of existing processes, materials or equipment.

The award consists of a trophy bearing the recipient's name which they hold for one year, a certificate to be kept by the recipient, and a cash award currently [Feb. 1989] up to 400. In the event of an award for collaborative work, the cash is to be divided equally, and, if appropriate, the trophy is inscribed with the name of the recipient's institution. In exceptional circumstances a number of smaller awards may be made when certificates and reduced monetary prizes are given, but no trophy.

Awards are made at the absolute discretion of a panel of the Society of Archivists, drawn from the Technical Committee which administers the scheme and which is free to consult specialist advisors where appropriate.

The award may be made to anyone working in the field of paper or parchment conservation whether or not they are members of the Society of Archivists, but candidates from outside the United Kingdom are not eligible.

Past winners include:

Chris Clarkson Perspex book cradles
James Wayne Rotating map drum
Tom Collings Vacuum probe
Susan Bradshaw Bead filled support cushions

The portable suction device is currently marketed by Conservation Resources (UK) Ltd.

In 1988, because of a lack of suitable nominations, no award was made and Archival Aids instead presented a microcomputer and word processor to the Conservation Group of the Society of Archivists to help the dissemination of information.

The award is made at the annual instructional meeting for archival conservators in September whenever possible, and recipients are expected to explain their projects and to publish. The deadline for nominations is May 1 of each year; individuals may nominate themselves. Requests for nomination forms or information should be addressed to: J.E. McIntyre, Honorary Secretary, Society of Archivists Technical Committee, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW Scotland.

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