A Durham County Record Office talk will advise visitors on how to look after the books, documents and papers that mean the most to them.

Visitors to the 'Introduction to Archive Conservation' talk can take along their old records and paper keepsakes and learn about how to ensure they survive for future generations.

The Durham County Record Office talk, by conservators Lindsey Gibson and Zoe Ross, will explain the processes they use to assess and preserve the range of items in the record office's collection.

The talk, on Thursday September 19 from 12.30-1.15pm, will provide an overview of the causes of damage and deterioration of archives, and explain the conservation methods used to treat and repair items, with examples.  

But as well as learning about archive conservation processes, visitors are also invited to bring their own treasured records for free conservation advice.  

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Dawn Layland, education and outreach archivist, said: "Our collection spans 900 years, occupies five miles of shelving and includes a wide range of material, from manuscripts and paper documents, to seals, maps and photographs.

"We keep as much of our archive as we can available to the public and, as our records are often delicate and fragile, our conservators play a major role in making items accessible by identifying and treating damaged materials. During this talk, Lindsey and Zoe will describe some of the fascinating methods they use to preserve the county's history for future generations."

The event, which is the latest in a programme of monthly 'Third Thursday Talks', is free to attend, although donations are welcome on the day.

Booking is essential and spaces must be reserved in advance from the Durham County Record Office website.

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