14 October is the European Day of Conservation and Restoration, the culmination of a week of celebrations which aim to bring Europe’s cultural heritage, history and shared values closer to people. It is an opportunity also to raise awareness of the key role of conservation in safeguarding cultural heritage with policy makers and the civil society.
The survival of our heritage can never be taken for granted. Access to information – the core mission of libraries – can only happen with the conservation and treatment of the items in their collections. Libraries therefore have a responsibility to preserve, conserve, and, if possible, restore their local history and cultural heritage materials.
IFLA is committed to support libraries in Europe and around the world in their work on preserving and conserving our shared cultural heritage and the IFLA Strategic Programme on Preservation and Conservation (PAC) has one major goal: to ensure that library and archive materials, published and unpublished, in all formats, will be preserved in accessible form for as long as possible.
The IFLA network of Preservation and Conservation Centres (PAC) are centres of expertise critical to safeguarding cultural heritage globally. In Europe for example, the PAC Centre at the National Library of Poland is working to support the needs of libraries concerning digital preservation and digital sustainability, and assist in the safeguarding of digital cultural heritage.
The National Library of Poland acts as the central library of the state and one of the most important cultural institutions in Poland. Its mission is to protect national heritage preserved in the form of handwritten, printed, electronic, recorded sound and audio visual documents.
Every day, all over the world, all of IFLA’s PAC Centres work to safeguard cultural heritage and bring it closer to people. It should just be on this one day that we celebrate them and their contribution to preserving and conserving our shared history!