Preservation and conservation specialists learned about the latest best practices in a workshop organized in the Sultanate of Oman by Qatar National Library, in its role as IFLA’s Regional Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Center, and UNESCO.

The three-day workshop was held from 19 – 21 February in collaboration with the National Records and Archives Authority in Oman, and was attended by book and manuscript conservation specialists from Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Iran, and other countries.

The workshop, “Practical Methods for the Scientific Examination of Library Objects,” focused on technical photography of heritage collections and the technique of reflectance spectroscopy.

PAC Centre

Technical photography represents a collection of images taken with a modified digital camera using different lighting sources and filters to acquire a selection of images, with each providing unique information about the object under examination. Reflectance spectroscopy is an effective technique in identifying pigments and reveals information vital to preserving historical items.

“We are delighted that experts from across the Arab region attended the workshop and learned about the latest skills and tools for preserving historical manuscripts. The session is more important than ever, as the preservation of valuable heritage in the region is facing several challenges such as limited resources and lack of technical expertise,” said Stephane Ipert, Preservation and Conservation Manager at Qatar National Library.

The workshop is part of a larger project working toward preserving the documentary heritage in the Arab region by understanding the needs and challenges of the relevant institutions, and enhancing knowledge and information sharing. 

Qatar National Library was selected as IFLA’s Regional PAC Centre in 2015, and now supports libraries across the MENA region to safeguard documentary heritage in its diverse forms and formats.

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