The Library Holdings include many old and rare items that are deteriorating due to the aging of the materials and to usage over
the years. It would be unrealistic to aim to restore all these items to their former glory, but it is essential that there is a program for their preservation,
i.e., maintenance of a condition in which they may be accessed and utilized for study and exhibition.To this end, the Society has two groups which work in parallel, the Adopt
a Book group and the Preservation Workshop. All items in the Society’s collection, books, maps, photographs and manuscripts, are being assessed for condition and those in need of attention prioritised in terms of significance, rarity and value.
The rare and valuable items which require professional work are handled by Adopt a Book, the least rare and valuable are handled by the in-house Preservation Workshop.
This group selects items of especial interest. The work to be done is assessed and costed by a master bookbinder. Members of the Society and members
of the public are then invited to “adopt” the item and fund its preservation.
So far, eleven volumes have been adopted. An example is William Cuningham’s Cosmographical Glasse, published in London in 1559.
For 2015, five books and an album of photographs have been selected:-
"A narrative of an expedition to Botany Bay" by Watkin Tench 1789
"The present picture of NSW" by David Dickenson Mann 1811
"Journals of two expeditions into the interior of NSW" by John Oxley 1820
"Travels in South Africa" by John Campbell 1822
"The Cape, Free State and Diamond Fields" by SW Silver 1880
"Photographs of the transcontinental expedition" by Richard Thilwell Maurice 1902
Typically it is the binding (covers, spines and pages loose or detached) that needs work. The album of Maurice photographs is an extreme example.
In all cases, repairs will cost between $250 and $500. Further details are contained in the booklet available from the Library or as a download here (link to pdf file). Contributions are acknowledged in a tipped-in book plate.