Preservation of records is an important activity within any Archives Management Programme. It ensures that the records of enduring value are preserved for the benefit of both present and future generations. The process of conservation attempts to preserve records in their original format. The main objectives of the Conservation wing of Assam State Archives are:
The files/records are housed in acid-free boxes to protect them from light, heat and dust. Pesticide treatment is carried out every three months to protect the files and records from insects and rodents. Cleaning of stack areas, records, and shelves is also undertaken on a regular basis.
The Assam State Archives has recently installed a Fumigation Chamber (NSW-151). The Conservation wing undertakes fumigation of records to render the newly received documents insect-free. The conservation wing also repairs the documents to bring them back to their original condition by adopting tissue repair, lamination, full-pasting, etc. The Binding Unit deals with sewing and re-covering, minor repairs, binding and stitching of records and volumes for preventive/restorative conservation.
The Reprography wing of the Assam State Archives reproduces the archival records for preservation. A set of actions are initiated to reproduce certain documents with a view to preserving their contents. Microfilming, photographing, photocopying and digitization methodologies are used in the Archives to safeguard the content of the records. The damaged records are reproduced through photographic methods. It also supplies copies of records on payment basis to scholars, administrators and others.
The Reprography wing of the Assam State Archives is equipped with modern machines like, microfilm camera, microfilm scanner, processor, etc. It has already microfilmed 85 files of Assam Commissioner (1833-1892) and also converted the analogue microfilm images to digital images (pdf). Further, microfilming of some of the valuable manuscripts of the Majuli Satras has been carried out. These manuscripts deal mostly with literary, religious, medicinal, and such topics. Soft forms of these records are accessible to scholars and other users.
Microfilming of documents has inherent benefits like saving space, document integrity and information security. This wing carefully examines every document before filming by removing all staples and paper clips to assure that every page is separate and easily visible. Similarly, after developing the exposed film, this wing views every frame to ensure that all documents are legible.