Conservation for Digitisation Projects...

Conservationists at Work

Conservation for Digitisation Projects

Conservation for digitisation projects comes with its own challenges. Certain items and collections cannot be easily digitised without some conservation intervention beforehand. This may be because the process itself will cause already fragile documents to become newly or further damaged or because the items are currently inaccessible - for example, they may be folded and very brittle.

Whether it's a small undertaking or a large, mass digitisation project it is extremely important to undertake a thorough condition assessment to highlight areas of risk before any practical work is carried out. Based on this assessment we can provide advice and help plan how to utilise conservation to mitigate these potential challenges to ensure a smooth digitisation workflow and to get the best quality images from your items.

At Max we offer:

  • Removal and replacement of restrictive attachment devices such as pins and staples.
  • Collating and pagination of items.
  • Surface cleaning of items where it is obscuring information.
  • Removal of old repairs that may be obscuring information.
  • Flattening of folded, creased or crumpled areas where it is obscuring information.
  • Repairing of tears and unstable areas to improve handling for the capture process.
  • Flattening of rolled items.
  • Humidification, unfolding and flattening of tightly folded items that cannot be unfolded without causing damage.
  • The conservation and equipment departments can work together with you the client to come up with innovative solutions to capture complex items such as those with restrictive bindings, foldouts in bound volumes, or very large scale plans or posters for example.

Max provide a full range of conservation and storage services. For details please visit our conservation and storage page. We also offer comprehensive digitisation, digital preservation, archive management and digitisation project management solutions.

For more information please use the buttons below or call us on 0208 309 5445.

If you'd like to get in touch to find out more about our services please use the buttons below or call us on 020 8309 5445


I have worked with Max Communications and the team for some years. In recent work with their Archivematica iteration in the College Archives and Corporate Records Unit, and other digital work required by varying cohorts in Imperial, Max Communications have been responsive, innovative and demonstrated great problem-solving abilities. The Max Communications team, from the top down, is approachable, friendly and keen to help.

An example is in their engagement for some major confidential scanning projects. The projects were discussed, scoped and agreed to a high standard of hand scanning. Benchmarking was agreed to our satisfaction when the project started, with a fast progress time for the work. They provided rapid access to files, including digitising out of sequence, e.g. one such turn around for hand scanning, editing and proofing a large file was within 3 hours. The digital delivery was by secure online transfer, and the hard disks and hard copy delivered securely by courier.

On a lighter note, digitisation of 1960s academic cine film was carried out promptly and to a high standard, such that it can be reshown at a major conference

--Anne Barrett | College Archivist & Corporate Records Manager | Imperial College London