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Mid-year Report of IFLA PAC China Center (2006)

According to the IFLA-PAC’s objectives and missions, China Center planed some projects and did some work related to the preservation and conservation, such as strengthening the publicity of documents preservation and raising awareness of the public on it, lobbying to the government to increase funding support, carrying out international cooperation, establishing the standards and criterions on the preservation and conservation, translating the relevant professions articles, and so on.

1、to strengthen the publicity of documents preservation
“Bastions of Civilization”—The Exhibition of the Ancient Books & Special Collections and Their Conservation was held by the National Library of China (NLC) in May 2006. It is the largest exhibition of rare books and its conservation in the history of China, in which 14 public libraries, universities libraries and research libraries were involved. 218 items of treasures and some treasures from other libraries were exhibited, Nearly 60% of the exhibitions were classified as national top-grade cultural relics and others were second-grade, among them, 61 pieces of national treasures was first showed. In order to raise the awareness of the public on the preservation and conservation, the NLC provided 100 pieces of damaged Dunhuang Manuscripts and called on the public to sponsor the conservation. Because of the passion of the public, the manuscripts were claimed in one week.

2、to plan the “Chinese Ancient Books Preservation Project”
The China center pushed forward the preparation of the “Chinese Ancient Books Preservation Project” and lobbied the central government and the governments of different levels to increase the investment on the preservation and conservation. In the year of 2006, the China Center invited the experts nationwide in this field to draft the relevant standards and policies for the Project, and established the guidelines and overall goals, which settled the basis for the startup and implementation of the Project.

3、to establish the standards and criterions in this field
In order to speed up the standardization process of preservation and conservation, the China Center organized many famous scholars and experts and devoted to the establishment of the relevant standards on the preservation and conservation. In the year of 2006, six standards have been established, such as “Rare Books Ranking Standards”, “Ancient Books Stack Standards”, “Ancient Books Conservation: Quality and Technology Standards”, “Ancient Books Damage Ranking Standards”, “Ancient Books Survey Standards”, “Library Conservators Qualifications”, among which 5 of them were issued by the ministries.

4、to carry out international cooperation
The China Center co-hosted the “Conference of Preservation and Conservation of the Papers in East Asia” with other research institutions. More than 400 experts, technicians, officials from Korea, Japan and China attended this conference. This conference focused on the preservation and conservation of the paper documents, preservation and conservation achievements in different countries and the training on P&C staff, and the cooperation among East Asian countries. Besides, the preservation and conservation achievements of Korea, Japan and China were showed during the conference.

5、to research on the rare books conservation equipments and technology
Paper Pulp Repair Machine is becoming all-pervading used in conservational over the world. The research and application of this machine will be a great help to improve the efficiency and quality of conservation. Upon the request of the National Archives of Mauritius and many libraries in China, the technical staff spent on year on the development of new pattern machine. The new machine is made of stainless steel and the key components used the international-famous brand products. The new machine also mended the shortages of the old pattern, which greatly improved the security, automation, conservation quality and efficiency.

6、to promote the training to the conservators
China center planed to organize nationwide training courses on rare books preservation and conservation. Meanwhile, China center cooperated with the research institutions to send experts to train the management staff of the Chinese traditional medicine. Besides, China center has attracted many colleagues both at home an abroad to study conservation techniques.

7、to translate the professional articles from the IFLA-PAC.
China Center translated the “IFLA Disaster Preparedness and Planning-A Brief Manual” into Chinese. After that the Chinese version of this manual was printed and distributed in China. Besides, the Chinese version was handed in to the website of IFLA-PAC.