Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften Akademiebibliothek Biography of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Conservation of Holdings in the Library

The conservation and care of the extensive and historically valuable old holdings of scientific monographs and Academy texts is an important area of work in the Library of the Academy. As all libraries which have valuable old holdings, the Library of the Academy has to deal with the most different type of problems, such as paper deterioration, mould, damaged book covers etc.

The library holdings which were outhoused to the salt mountain works in Schönebeck and Bernburg during the 2nd World War were subject to particularly difficult climatic conditions. In particular, the dampness of the rooms and water damage led to mould attacks and further damages to the books. Not only were these damages not repaired in the time between 1949-1989, they were actually made worse by inadequate storage conditions in the stack rooms. During this time, the library had neither the financial means, nor the material requirements needed for the care of its holdings.

Following the setting up of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 1992, necessary book binding work, restoration and conservation works took place on a much greater scale. Since 1993, approx. 7,000 new bindings have been completed and approx. 1,450 volumes have been cared for on a very detailed level. Further extensive measures for the conservation and care of the library's valuable holdings are still necessary.

Alongside the conservation and care of the indispensable original volume, the library will put measures into place on order to digitalise library stocks and put them on to microfilm.

As is the case for all large libraries, the Library of the Academy is also confronted with the pressing problem of paper deterioration of books produced on industrial paper from the middle of the last century onwards. At the moment, an extensive survey is taking place in order to assess the most useful methods to secure holdings.

You can support the Academy Library's measures to maintain its stocks with a donation or by sponsoring a book. Please click here for further information.

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