What is Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration?

Our large common written or printed cultural heritage, whether it is on leather, papyrus, parchment or paper, as well as works of fine art drawn, painted or printed on, or made of, any of the above carrier materials, need our attention and care in order for them to continue to be witnesses of human culture and history. As material objects, these common cultural assets decay by natural ageing.





Special preventive and conservation measures must be undertaken to keep this heritage in an acceptable state. In some cases direct interventive action, also called restoration, is needed with the aim of facilitating the heritage perception, appreciation and understanding, while respecting as far as possible its aesthetic, historic and physical properties.


Although a lot of measures, techniques and materials for conservation are already available, there are still a large number of unanswered questions; and books and other paper works are waiting for help. A deeper understanding of the chemical, physical and historical decay processes and conservation/restoration procedures is still badly needed as well.


Research undertaken in the context of the European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation should facilitate: preventive conservation, preservation, conservation and restoration measures in the field. We use all the above terms according to the definitions provided in the ECCO professional guidelines 2003.